There are many reasons for visiting a coffee shop besides grabbing a latte: people-watching, a respite from your office and, of course, free Wi-Fi. Beyond those, more and more shops are adding official meeting rooms, building off the need for more private, yet informal, areas for people to gather. Take a look at these five java joints around the country ahead of the trend.
>> It’s only appropriate for the birthplace of Starbucks to have a spectacular coffee shop/meeting space hybrid. Find it at Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room (shown) in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It doesn’t come cheap (packages start at $10 per person minimum, plus room rental fees), but you can supplement your meeting with a tour and tasting experience inside the roaster.
>> Owner Heather Riney of Atmalogy in Nashville says she was one of the first to pioneer the concept of meeting space inside a coffee shop when she opened her business three years ago. Atmalogy’s unique model includes six rooms accommodating from three to 75 people, each with its own cozy furniture and decor.
>> Fluid Meeting Spaces, the counterpart to uptown Denver’s Fluid Coffee Bar, was “made for collaboration,” says owner Jeff Aitken. The modern space can accommodate meetings for up to 50 people and has amenities like Wi-Fi, audiovisual systems, modular furniture and a range of catering options from the coffee bar, from breakfast pastry trays to boxed lunches.
>> Next Door (shown) in Chicago is a coffee bar and gathering spot for an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs, exec boards, corporate teams and more. Meeting spaces include massive movable cubes, mini rooms with giant screens enclosed by whiteboards, and a glass-walled space (with two screens and whiteboard walls) that can accommodate up to 20.
>> The Maverick Room in Scottsdale, Arizona’s Maverick Coffee is “pretty much booked all week,” says owner Steven Lewis, noting meetings are a huge part of the shop’s business. Besides being available for private bookings for $15 per hour, in the future the Maverick Room will also be used for coffee tutorials and other events to engage with local enthusiasts.