Coffee shops can serve as their own communities in college towns.
Liberty University is filled with students who love to drink coffee. Regular coffee, macchiatos, cappuccinos and lattes. All of the coffee.
As a university with such strong views on alcohol use, coffee dates are a daily substitute. However, are businesses sniffing this demographic out and oversaturating it? Perhaps, but maybe there is a more relational reason for this high demand.
Many of these hot spots are located in apartment complexes and other kinds of neighborhoods. Liberty has thousands of students studying residentially with a significant portion living off campus. So, if someone lives downtown, Dublin 3 or White Hart are the go-to spots. If you live at Cornerstone, you go to Bean Tree. Forest has Third Wave. Wyndhurst has the Muse. Everyone knows this. These coffee shops are staples, and even selling points, for the communities.
Why would that be the case? Why would a coffee shop be such a draw? The answer is community. Yes, it might be easy to think that there are just way too many coffee shops to choose from, but that is usually the perspective of students living on campus.
But let’s think about off-campus students, families or anyone else for that matter. It’s not as simple as rolling out of bed at the Hill and landing at the ROT to share a cup of joe with 500 of your closest friends. Not everyone can afford the convenience of on-campus living.
A coffee shop allows people from a certain community to make more intimate connections with other people in that area. They can meet up with a friend, get assignments done and enjoy dozens of different coffees. So, if it feels that there are a lot of coffee shops around, take that opportunity to check them all out.
But remember, even if you did not like your experience at that one coffee shop, it is a community to itself.