Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks

What can I say about Java J’s?  I wish there were more of them.  Java J’s on State Street in downtown Bristol is one of the best coffee houses I’ve ever been to.  The employees are approachable, the atmosphere is not only inviting, but welcoming, and there are always interesting people around to keep you company.  Whether you are in a rush and need a quick caffeine fix, or you want to lounge around on an idle Sunday afternoon, Java J’s is the place to go.  I used to go to the drive through locations they had available because they were so convenient, and the coffee is excellent.  But nothing is like spending time in their coffee shop.  It reminds me of a chain I’ve been to called “Cosi”.  Cosi is usually found in bigger cities.  I’ve seen them in/around Washington D.C., the suburbs of Chicago, and in New York City.  If you’ve ever been to one, you know that more often than not it is a classier atmosphere with great coffee to boot.  The only thing missing is the friendly persona given to the customers by the staff.  I’ve never had a problem with an order at Java J’s, and I love the way the staff seems to be having fun while they are at work.  They are in the coffee biz, that’s what they do.. they do it well and they make it look easy.

Starbucks is okay too, don’t get me wrong.  But most of the time I don’t want a venti Yukon blend caramel mocha frappe with shaved chocolate & nutmeg.  I want a cup of hot, black, coffee.  Or one of Java J’s delicious white top mochas.  Also, when I go into a Starbucks, I feel like I’m in trendy-hipster-land.  When you’re inside a Starbucks, you know you’re in a franchise.  That’s the kind of feeling everything about Starbucks gives me.  Java J’s on the other hand makes me feel like I’m almost in an art gallery, but in a good way.  The paint on the walls, the decor they have, the couches by the door, everything is creative.  I don’t get the faceless-ness I see in other chain coffee shops.  I feel like I can sit down and enjoy myself there as I can in my own living room.  You don’t get that from a corporation.

Before he went into the Air Force, my baby brother and I used to walk downtown and shop in the antique stores every weekend.  We always scheduled a time to sit in Java J’s and relax for a little bit.  We liked the coffee, the gelato bar they added a few summers ago was a big plus during the hot summer months, and we thoroughly enjoyed playing the board games they had available.  I’ve been called “immature”, a “child at heart”, and I am a huge self-proclaimed nerd; but I don’t care how old you get, whether you’re 15, 25, or 40.. there’s something very comforting about drinking very good coffee at an awesome coffee house while playing Connect 4 with your kid brother.

I also love the way they feature live music.  I haven’t gotten a chance to go recently, but the performances I’ve seen at Java J’s satisfy a lot of my musical likings.  I am one of the few people that actually mean it when they say “I listen to a little bit of everything”.  Really, I can find a bunch of good songs that I like  in any genre.  Over the course of one year, I watched talented young musicians at Java J’s perform incredibly.  Whether it was the christian rock singers, the bluegrass performers, the country/western groups, or the handful or so of some of the eclectic groups that performed at Java J’s, they all sounded pretty good.  I enjoyed all of them!  I think whoever lines up the live music venues needs a raise, or free coffee for life, or something because they are doing a spectacular job.  The biggest thing about the musical talent found at Java J’s is that it only amplifies the personality that Java J’s gives to the downtown Bristol nightlife.

I just want to say to everyone that works at Java J’s, thank you.  Thank you on behalf of myself, my family, and any of the local Bristoleans I can vouch for.  Keep up the good work, and I can only hope to see more Java J’s locations up and down the highway some day.

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