The Front Room Coffeehouse

1 Park Place Ave.
Athens, OH 45701
740.566.0936
website

Ohio University’s Baker University Center was constructed with the expressed purpose of being the centerpiece for student life on campus. Designed like a five-story mini mall, Baker hosts several places to eat. The Front Room, however, is arguably Baker’s main hotspot. The Front Room is the most prominent of the Baker institutions, and the only one open at night.

The Front Room does not brew its own coffee; instead it “proudly brews Starbucks.” Whatever your opinions on Starbucks are, they will be a major influence on what you think of this place. Most of the drinks and non-c0ffee items are original, and Starbucks doesn’t exactly brew the coffee for them, but they still use the beans. Me, I don’t like Starbucks because the coffee always tastes burned. The Front Room does a better job I will admit.

The coffee itself is average. Like much of the Front Room, it doesn’t need to be stellar. The business is about convenience, not taste. Non-coffee drinks are decent, too. The “Creamice,” a cold cappuccino-like drink, tastes like a sugary punch in the face. It’s almost too sweet to handle. I rarely see other people buy it, and it may be the absolute sweetest drink I have ever consumed. That includes any flavor. Seriously, it puts milkshakes to shame. The shop’s white hot chocolate is my favorite drink. It’s very tasty. Other items aren’t as good; the hot regular hot chocolate option, for example isn’t so great, and I’ve never had tea from The Front Room that I liked. I also did not like the iced coffee offering, but I’ve never liked iced coffee, anyway.

The service and environment, however, are very pleasant. Front Room employees and managers are students, and though the lines are routinely long, the coffee shop enjoys a very friendly atmosphere. Ample space indoors and on the two large patios ensure there is almost always a place to site without having to venture into Baker, and weekends often bring music, karaoke, or costume contests at the shop so there’s always something to do. It is one of the prime locations for people to seek entertainment and I have seen (and taken part in) many casual coffee dates at this place. It’s ideally comfortable for them.

In short, The Front Room offers average, convenient coffee. But it does so with a nearly irresistible charm. If you’re a student at the university or work on campus, there’s no doubt you’ll get very used to visiting this place often.

Recommendations

  • Its central, strategic location allows The Front Room to be a main gathering place for Ohio University students. If you’re on campus, this is the best place to go for cheap coffee.
  • This shop offers a variety of events most nights; sometimes comedians, sometimes music and sometimes more serious discussion panels. Check its schedule to see what is going on.
  • Coffee items are very good, but not all of the other items are necessarily so inspired. I’ve never had tea here that I found satisfactory.

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