I think I just found my new favorite "working" coffee shop.
I normally go to the coffee shop within walking distance of my house. I really like it, but there are a few drawbacks, such as no wireless (although I think that's about to change), few outlets, and the fact that after about 3 in the afternoon it gets really crowded and noisy with the high school crowd. (I actually don't mind the high school crowd---they're remarkably unobnoxious---but it is harder to get work done with the noise level, and I get distracted with all the people-watching.) So the other day I tried out a new coffee shop, one further from my house---I had to run some errands over in that area anyway, so I figured what the heck.
I think I'm in love.
First, free wireless. I actually try not to go online when working in a coffee shop (minimizing distractions and all that), but it's nice to have it there to do a quick web search or email break. Second, the shop is long and narrow, with the counter in the middle, so that there is a natural split between a "quiet" area and a "social" area---and both are equally inviting. The only distraction I faced while there was that there was a Sniffler sitting a few tables over. Every 30 seconds, a sniffle. No, I'm not exaggerating. Third, and this may be my favorite feature of all, outlets at all of the tables along the wall! And even the smaller tables had enough room for me to spread out my laptop and research notebook.
Basically, the place gave off a very work-friendly vibe, and there were quite a few people in there with their laptops and papers, obviously working. And it must have worked, because I worked for 3 solid hours with only a single 10-minute email/web break, and got a ton of stuff done.
I will definitely be going back.