Sunday, April 3, 2011

King Star Coffee on Market: Your New Third Place?

Walking around downtown Lowell on this beautiful early spring Sunday morning, just before I get ready to head back to Texas tomorrow and then "over there" later this week, I was reminded of the Rip Van Winkle effect that one experiences every time he goes away for an extended period and then tries to readjust to the old surroundings, not sure what exactly to expect. (As a kid, even a week away at basketball camp in Syracuse was enough to make me fascinated with 'what had changed' during my seeming eternity away).
Even though I was only gone for six weeks (minus the paternity leave, but that was almost all in Boston), my sense of time was very warped and it felt like much longer. I hadn't noticed much new at first but as I looped back from Goodyear and the Diner I noticed a storefront sign for "King Star Coffee" nestled in between Athenian and the Dubliner.

My initial review here is positive - I am sitting at my kitchen table enjoying the Red Tea that Kin Wing Wong tells me is all the rage in Hong Kong, and I noticed that the cheap eats (the snacks and other food items were like a couple bucks a pop) and the free Wi-Fi make for an appealing potential "Third Place" for downtowners and others who like to hang out on Market St. Especially since the UML ICC set up shop downtown, Brew'd has become hard to find a place to stand in, let alone a place to sit on, on busy weekend mornings...I could definitely see King Star finding a foothold as an alternative for a slightly older crowd who prefers a quieter milieu for their morning caffeine and news fixes. At the same time, the unpretentious, low-cost/no-frills atmosphere may attract a lot of the bubble-tea drinking crowd looking for authenticity downtown.

Hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

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