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Most coffice spaces have windows on the street where you can watch people go by from one thing to another. All coffice spaces have the little windows of people’s screens showing the infinite depth and infinite flatness of their work and online amusement. But some coffice spaces also have other windows. Black Rock Coffee has a window on people building up their lives through climbing.
Literally. It has a window at the back onto the climbing gym that occupies what used to be a sketchy theatre (the one that famously had a sign “YES WE SELL CAR BATTERIES”). The neighbourhood is on the way up, and so are the people through that window.
So, too, may be the people at the next table. This is the kind of place where people meet other people and talk through the development of their lives. Friends chatting, job interviews, other first and not-first encounters. Look around. Most of the people here are not over 30, or not much over 30. The tables and furniture all appear to have been scavenged or bought in junk shops. There’s pictorial art for sale on the walls, the structural beams are bare concrete that has suffered excoriation in the renovation, there’s a long counter that has no pretensions, and on the wall behind it there’s a large blackboard listing the beverage options. It is appealing but has not been done by a fancy artist and is clearly erased and rewritten every so often.
There’s coffee of all the necessary kinds. There’s also tea of quite a few varieties, herbal and not. And there’s beer, several kinds, not overpriced, and not including Molson or Labatt’s or Pabst. And there are cocktails. There are even foodstuffs.
How well you can work here depends on how well you can concentrate with conversations nearby. I won’t say that there will always be one near you, but the odds are not bad. There are ten tables, a frowsy couch with a coffee table, a few stools at the counter. Everyone is in earshot.
If this place isn’t your vibe, you can always cross the street to The Good Neighbour. It’s right across the street. If you sit in one, you look out the window and see the other. I can only assume they’re good neighbours to each other. They certainly have different personalities.