Aromas lure fresh, youthful bodies inside one of Philadelphia’s intimate coffee spots. The Last Drop Coffeehouse serves up a hangout where creative minds can simply sip a mug of soothing American coffee and relax.
Elbow rubbing-sized concrete tables and candy-colored bicycles along the outside create an atmosphere similar to an Italian bistro. Large windows reflect smoky coal ceilings and overgrown hanging plants.
Inside are Victorian-styled lights that emit a hazy glow, bouncing off 4-by-6 feet black and white photos of architecture and walls advertising plays at The First Unitarian Church and local rock acts.
Just a few steps over is a Hewlett-Packard desktop for public Internet access. Coffee lovers nestle into hunter green booths and lean in for private conversation.
“We’re a very neighborhood coffee shop,” said Mike Bedner, manager of The Last Drop.
Customers are known on a first name basis and their favorite beverages are common knowledge.
Huge palm leaves usher in the free-spirited to the counter where glass jars ideal for grandma’s homemade cookies hold chocolate biscotti and miniature wrapped fudge. Above and to the right of sweater and denim-clad workers, you’ll find a huge schoolhouse chalkboard displaying the selection of drinks.
Pick-me-ups start with a mug of hot coffee for $1.25 to a Frappucino for $4.25. Last Drop cappuccinos are amazing.
The small extra frothy delight tickles the upper lip and costs fewer than $3. Face the fall chill with a hot chocolate or steamer for $2.35. Add a few drops of Monin vanilla, peach, cherry or almond syrup to your café au lait for 25 cents.
If you’re on the go, grab a large house blend inside a Last Drop logo cup for $1.75 or an iced coffee for $2.50.
Junior Nate O’Hare keeps it simple.
“I just get regular coffee,” O’Hare said.
A deli-style cooler showcases tiramisu, and Umm, vegan chocolate and peanut butter cakes, Figi water, Pellegrino and Nantucket Nectars.
Neatly wrapped walnut brownies, and carrot, lemon pound, chocolate chip and zucchini cakes tease the sweet tooth for fewer than $4 a treat.
Umm cake with its tantalizing white frosting is a local favorite for just $3.75 a slice.
In need of a light meal to go with your beverage, try a bagel with lettuce, tomato and red onion for $1.50, a Black Forest ham with mustard sandwich for $3.95, or smoked salmon with veggie cream cheese sandwich for $4.95.
Peach, mint, and aqua-stained glass shed enough light to guide patrons to a lounge downstairs ideal for studying and leisure reading.
The maroon walls pour into the lower level and square glass mirrors reflect the black, egg white and burgundy checkered floors. Comfy retro lounger chairs and a wooden church pew provide the perfect seating for laptop carriers in this Wi-fi spot.
The Last Drop Coffeehouse is a great place for Philadelphia’s young intellectual to read a biography on Rodin, review lines with acting partners or reflect on the little things in life over a hot brew.
Dana L. Oliver can be reached at email@example.com.