Five cafes with Wi-Fi hot spots
The following is a list of coffee shops that do just that, with the added bonus of free wifi access to customers.
Milk Coffee Bar downtown has provided the city's edgiest coffee drinkers a home away from home for decades.
In this, the quicksilver age of information, internet access is getting more valuable at the same time that it's losing its worth. With widespread swaths of free wifi and the ability to carry your own hot spot in your pocket, the promise of free internet access at an establishment isn't much of a selling point anymore. What's more important is offering an environment that is conducive to studying and working, with ever-present piping hot coffee and sweet treats to keep up stamina levels. The following is a list of coffee shops that do just that, with the added bonus of free wifi access to customers.
1. Salute Espresso Bar - 2090 Wyandotte Street East
The newest addition to the Walkerville BIA, Salute offers a crisp, clean, modern environment, perfect for meeting with professionals or working on those projects that need space to breathe. The cafe takes up half the basement level of the Blackburn building at the corner of Wyandotte and Argyle, and lets anyone who needs to spread out charts and graphs to do so without infringing upon the next table's patron. It's unknown how long this luxury will last, though. The trendy spot is sure to fill up fast once word spreads. They do offer free internet access to customers, and with their 10 oz. Tuesday and 5 oz. Friday deals (bring in a friend and their cup of coffee is half off), Salute will have you feeling productive in no time.
2. Old Town Sweet Shop and Cafe - 1801 Wyandotte Street East
This place has been mentioned a few times on this site, for good reason. Since opening in 2011, the OTSS has served up delicious drinks and scrumptious treats to an ever-increasing customer base. The coziness of the place is what draws people in; exposed brick, vintage settees and armchairs, a grand fireplace and a refurbished church pew (for those that relate comfort with laziness and just need to get their work done), lend a calming atmosphere that promotes productivity and creativity. Internet access here is free for customers, but the quaint and homey atmosphere says "Encyclopedia Brown" more than "Wikipedia Wales".
3. The Coffee Exchange - 266 Ouellette Avenue
The Coffee Exchange has hosted downtown caffeine drinkers for over 20 years. In its previous location across the street, the oversized cafe would fill up on Friday nights with under-age kids wanting a "cool" and "hip" hang out, with a higher level of sophistication than the Tim Horton's alternative. Now on the east side of Ouellette, the dining room is cozier, there's a room in the back perfect for late night study sessions, and the clientele may seem a bit more civilized, but the caliber of coffee hasn't faltered. This cafe sits squarely amidst the Downtown Windsor BIA's free internet offering , but offers customers access to their own, quicker connection, as well.
4. Milk Coffee Bar - 68 University Avenue West
They say that hipsterdom is dead. Those that know otherwise go to Milk. This cafe will always have the edgiest artwork on display, the most progressive musicians playing live, the best brews flowing from the espresso machine, and of course, the only absinthe served in Windsor (which may, or may not, affect your work ethic positively). It's difficult to avoid philosophical conversation in a space so nurturing of imaginative thought; I dare you not to think, while staring at the word "think" that's blatantly painted on the ceiling. While Milk doesn't offer access to their own internet connection, it also sits within the DWBIA's free internet zone, allowing them to cater to those umbilically-connected internet users without getting burned by Canada's exorbitant internet fees.
5. Green Bean Cafe - 2320 Wyandotte Street West
The Green Bean opened up in the basement of a church by the University of Windsor a few years ago, and despite a niche clientele that calls for reduced summer hours, business continues to thrive. The student hot spot offers a large seating area with lots of table space for those working on "big picture" projects, but you'll be lucky to find a spot mid-day during the week. The cafe is the perfect place to waste time between classes, and the only cafe I visited that had an actual system, with parameters, in place for internet users. Patrons get a randomly generated code when they purchase a drink or something to eat, which allows them access for up to two hours. However, the codes are readily available in an open plastic container in front of the cash register, and employees are understanding of student's needs to surf endlessly while sipping their lattes and munching their cookies. The internet is, after all, a resource that sustains us as human beings, is it not?;
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