Work It Out: 6 Places to Get Stuff Done In Memphis
When it's time to get some work done and your office/home office won't do (working in pajamas gets old fast) you need a friendly, comfortable space that will supply you with enough caffeine, electricity, food, and ambience to keep you and your laptop going for a few hours.
There are tons of places in Memphis that will do the trick. Here are six of them.
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. – 8 pm., Sun 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Why I like it: Substantial, good food. Every booth has an outlet. Super-friendly staff. Lots of natural light.
The U of M location of Cafe Eclectic has plenty of spacious booths, all of which have an outlet. There's the full Cafe Eclectic food menu including vaguely healthy wraps and salads, plus a huge coffee menu and baked goods.
In my experience, the service is impeccable at the Highland location. It's so nice to have friendly, helpful folks that make you feel welcome when you're settling in for some quality time with your to-do list.
Hours: Mon. – Sat. 8 a.m. – midnight
Why I like it: Lots of seating options. Open until midnight. All for a good cause.
Avenue Coffee near The University of Memphis is a not-for-profit coffee shop that opened in January. There are two seating areas inside (upstairs and downstairs) plus a really cool shaded patio. They have a simple but solid coffee menu, they use local Reverb Coffee beans, and they have some baked goods, including some gluten-free options.
Best of all, some of the proceeds from Avenue Coffee go to a charity, which changes every few months. I like the quiet, chill vibe, the friendly owners, and the fact that each latte is made with love.
Hours: Mon. – Thu. 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun. noon – 3 p.m.
Why I like it: No coffee, just beer. Good atmosphere. People watching. Did I mention beer?
It's technically acceptable to hang out at a bar and work while you sip a beer, but not many places feel like they're made for that the way that The Growler in Cooper Young is. Even if it's full of folks chatting, it's still fairly quiet and chill.
Here, you can feel surrounded by action (perch by the window for some good people watching) but not be disturbed from your work. And you can choose from 24 beers on tap – always a plus when you've reached peak caffeine intake for the day. (Note: There's no food now, but The Growler folks plan to offer a small menu of very-delicious-sounding food in the coming months.)
Hours: Daily 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Why I Like It: Good crowd and energy. Cool atmosphere. Delicious food and great coffee.
Tamp & Tap's service and wait time has improved massively since they opened a little over a year ago, and it's now one of my downtown go-to spots for a working lunch or afternoon snack. The atmosphere is a little more lively than some other places on this list, but that can be a good thing if you feed off an energetic vibe.
The decor is straight-up awesome, and it's always nice when a place has a full menu of real food, i.e., sandwiches, salads, in addition to high-quality coffee and tea drinks. (Note: Going to Tamp & Tap for Wednesday night Trivia with Kevin Cerrito, a Friday night Kill-the-Keg party, or Bluegrass Brunch is super fun, but maybe go during the day if you have some hardcore work to finish because all that fun could be distracting.)
Hours: Mon. – Sat. 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Why I like it: Lots of seating options. Free coffee refills. The Bagel Sandwich Thing.
Otherlands charmed me from day one: the comfy, creative decor, the quirky Midtown regulars, and the Bagel Sandwich Thing. (Seriously, I have been eating that for nine years – Everything bagel, sundried tomato cream cheese, every. single. time.)
Practically, Otherlands is a great place to work because there are plenty of seating options. There are tons of tables inside and outside, with lots of power outlets inside. There's a good mix of people working quietly and small groups chatting. If you get a regular cup of iced or hot coffee and stay to enjoy it, you get a free refill.
Hours: Mon. – Thu. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Why I Like It: It's spacious. It's free. You don't even need a computer.
If you're not in the mood for coffee (or paying for coffee) settle in at Memphis' biggest public library. The wifi is totally free, and there are about 100 computers that are available for public use on a first-come, first-serve basis. For a fee, you can even use their printers. Outlet access can be a little iffy, so make sure your laptop is charged or you have some non-digital tasks to complete if you're not using one of their computers.
Where are your favorite places to work in Memphis?