Like Drinking Coffee in a Closet

My friends at Youngfolk & The Kettle Black on Water Street in Charlottetown have opened a new branch on Victoria Row in the space formerly occupied by Poffertjes.

The new space is tiny and there’s just room for a counter along the wall, with no place to sit. It’s a stand-up or take-out place, and it’s as close as you’re going to come to the feeling of ordering coffee at a bar in Italy in this province (and the coffee is, it must be said, very, very good).

I’ve been for coffee twice now, and both times I’ve observed that, despite (or perhaps because of) the confined stand-up-only space, there’s a social aspect to the new branch that’s unique in the city: personable co-owner Adam Young has confirmed that people stay “400% longer here than in the other place,” and, in my experience, there are conversations between customers that you would see neither at Youngfolk Mark I nor, indeed, at Tim Hortons or Starbucks or any other coffee place in town. 

Whether it’s the forced proximity, or the need to stand, or some sort of social kevorka in the air, strangers seem comfortable with starting a conversation with each other while leaning against the wall enjoying coffee.

With its proximity to the Legislative Assembly, which starts sitting again next week, my great hope is that Youngfolk Mark II becomes a hotbed of political thought and debate, meted out over espressos while winding down after Question Period. I’ll buy the first round, Hon. Premier.