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Gal Seeks Friends in Seattle
January 3, 2012 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Looking for the friendliest coffee houses in Seattle.

**This is a post is a sock puppet for my daughter.** (Married, in her 30s, has an online editing business but has time on her hands.) Last year, she felt she didn't get outside enough, so she had a private plan, The Park Project. She spent time in a park every day for a year. It was a challenge, but had wonderful personal results.

This year, she's trying something more difficult. She's shy, yet wants to meet more people. So she's initiated The People Project -- to meet and at least chat with and give her name to 365 new people. One a day.

She asked me to ask the Seattle hive mind which coffee places seem the most open to strangers speaking to each other. Or any other ideas, for that matter. She's got a list: dog park, volunteer activities, churches, bars (not a favorite) -- but if you know of an unusual place with friendly people, she'd welcome the suggestion. And, of course, if you go to her site and would like to meet her, please send her an email.
posted by kestralwing to Human Relations (14 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I find Lighthouse Roasters in Fremont to be boisterous and friendly. Also, not too far away in Phinney, she might want to check out Fresh Flours. I used to work there, and I found the customers to be of a more talkative variety.

And maybe Paseo, the Cuban sandwich shop (also in Fremont). I say this because there's always a line out the door and down the street, and you can't help but talk to the people around you when you're waiting for the most mouthwatering sandwich in Seattle. And then your reward is the most mouthwatering sandwich in Seattle.

Good luck to your daughter! As a shy girl myself, I would be kind of terrified to think of introducing myself to a different person every single day for a year.
posted by lotus-eater at 5:26 PM on January 3, 2012


Bauhaus, where I'm heading in about five minutes, is quite friendly, in part because it's a base-of-operations for a significant number of literary/music/arts folks in the neighborhood. Come for the coffee, stay for the 45-minute exegesis on Stendahl!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:35 PM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not a specific location, but...you mention the dog park, so I'm guessing that she has a dog/dogs? My wife and I take our dogs with us to sit outside a coffee shop most weekends, and it makes a night-and-day difference. If we were to just go and sit out there, I seriously doubt that random strangers coming and going from the shop would just stop and say hello and chat with us out of the blue. But when we're there hanging out with the dogs, I would say the majority of people at least smile and say hello and many of them stop and chat. Some things that probably help: we're in pretty a dog-friendly area (near Portland, OR) and these are very well-behaved big-happy-friendly dogs.
posted by madmethods at 5:38 PM on January 3, 2012


I live within a stone's throw of Bedlam Coffee in Belltown and people are quite friendly there in the quieter hours. It's definitely unusual in being artsy/scruffy, and the owners/partners are community leaders.

Caveat: crack addicts lounge near entrance. But that's what you get in the middle of Belltown.
posted by ntartifex at 5:44 PM on January 3, 2012


Game stores. The tabletop type. Specifically, Card Kingdom is absolutely lovely.
posted by Mizu at 6:00 PM on January 3, 2012


Cloud City Coffee is super friendly -- lots of families and neighborhood folks. In the Maple Leaf area.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 6:19 PM on January 3, 2012


[axed link, please put it in your profile if you want people to look at it and/or get your daughter to post it on projects once it's gotten going.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:26 PM on January 3, 2012


Oops, sorry -- didn't realize the protocol for putting in links. I've added the link to my profile.
posted by kestralwing at 7:10 PM on January 3, 2012


My vote goes to Wayward Coffeehouse at the corner of 65th and Roosevelt. I haven't been to their new location since their place in Greenwood burned, but they're superfriendly. Used to have writing group meetings there, and it was clear that other types of groups (writing, gaming, and maybe others) also hung out there, too.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:12 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bean City in Lake City is the one coffeehouse in town (aside from the much-mourned Last Exit) where I've had real conversations with strangers. I think Tim, the owner, would like her project a lot.
posted by sculpin at 7:41 PM on January 3, 2012


The folks at the new Wayward location are lovely - that's what I was going to suggest!
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 7:44 PM on January 3, 2012


Thanks to everybody -- these are great suggestions! Bonus for me: next time I'm in Seattle I'm putting on my Jayne hat and going to the Wayward Coffeehouse.
posted by kestralwing at 3:17 PM on January 4, 2012


Seconding Bauhaus: I believe it's the only coffee place in this city where perfect strangers have struck up pleasant conversations with me. If her tastes run to tea, Remedy Teas on E 15th is a welcoming spot in my experience. A few years ago, I spent a lot of time at Victrola, also on 15th, but that place caters to a pretty specific hipster crowd, and I've been less impressed lately. Within that crowd, though, they're very friendly.
posted by Errant at 11:26 PM on January 4, 2012


bauhaus forever. and you can even get some work done there, if you bring big headphones.
posted by beefetish at 1:42 PM on January 5, 2012


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