If you’re a very social person, it can be hard to take a seat, stay put and do your schoolwork in a public environment. Students run around the loud room at College Library and jolt from table to table socializing with all of their friends. But hey, I am guilty of it too. I go to the library to see people more than I go to do homework and I bet I am not the only one with this mentality.
CoffeeBytes on University Avenue is my other hot spot. It is right next to the School of Journalism and I am always running into friends and professors inside. That initial two-minute conversation quickly turns into 10 minutes. This happens frequently as people I know constantly walk in and out of the coffee shop. Before I know it, two hours have passed and I have barely accomplished anything. For this reason, I find myself getting more work done at remote coffee shops away from campus.
Barrique’s is an adorable café located two blocks off of State Street near the Overture Center. I once passed it while driving around Madison and wrote the name down in my phone because the striped maroon and beige awning grabbed my attention and the place looked utterly charming; my intuition was spot on!
They have a variety of pastries, sandwiches, salads, soups, and wines. When you walk in the front door, you immediately see a wall with a great assortment of wines. It immediately grabbed my attention because rarely do I ever see alcohol being sold in a coffee shop.
Barrique’s has two levels and tons of tables, but don’t let this fool you. If you come on a weekend during lunchtime, you may end up like me waiting twenty minutes to find a table. However, once I was seated, I was able to do all of my work with minimal distractions. Since the café isn’t too close to campus, I am not running into people to chat with and have a harder time distracting myself from doing my work.
I asked the cashier to make me their most popular drink and was given the mocha. Made with espresso, steamed milk and chocolate, it is a very thin, hot drink and tastes great with whipped cream on top. However, it has a very strong coco flavor and tastes like hot chocolate. If you don’t like strong flavors, then it may be best to stick with your standard cappuccino or latte.
Barrique’s is a great café to come to if you enjoy doing work in a relaxed and casual environment. However, it is not super quiet. Don’t come here expecting to read your textbook in pure silence but it is a great place to test out if you want to feel remote and explore more off-campus options!