If you like your coffee strong, your sunlight filtered through a clutch of vegetation growing in the windows, and your concentration occasionally and delightfully interrupted by the Duck Tales theme song – complete with a chorus that includes the barista and bar patrons – then please, please, please join me in celebrating Highland Coffee House in Cincinnati, Ohio.
My husband and I found this place unexpectedly and after years of suffering poor service and sorority girls at one of the other would-be college coffee houses near the University of Cincinnati. Their hours, among other things, cater to the eccentric and, I suppose, to people who don’t have bed times: five p.m. to two a.m., every day. I like best to go on a Sunday night, winter or summer, when the patio is crowded with cigarette-smoking revelers, the bar glowing with yellow light cast from the benevolent faces of pinup girls on the vintage lamps. Their brews are all of the best kinds, beer and coffee alike, and when I can be tempted away from the delicious chocolate-cinnamon concoction that is their mocha java, a bottomless cup of Highlander Grog can’t be beat.
This place is just so damned cozy, a little dingy, but more like everyone who’s passed through has left a little bit of themselves behind. It feels lived in, even in the early evening when it’s nearly empty (the best time to write if you like it quiet, and want to snag an outlet). Highland is the sort of place I would expect to find when I visit another city, but it’s a real fixture of Cincinnati, and when my husband bought me a drink after finishing the first draft of my novel there, it was at Highland that I hoped to finish every one after.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.