Um … I just realised the photo for this article is wrong because the whole point is to find a place that has wifi AND power and in the picture the person must be a genius to have remembered to charge their MacBook. In case you’re like me, and you have a super-human ability to leave your MacBook or braindead-puppy-level-of-intelligence-device (aka PC) on sleep mode every time you need to use it out (take a deep breath this is a long sentence) … then you’re in the right place.
I always need power when I’m out for this reason, plus every phone I’ve ever used tends to have the battery life of a 2 hour old squirrel that’s learning to fly. So I’m the guy you see walking into cafes looking like I’m either constipated or just got off the phone from Telstra … or both, and one caused the other (I always call Telstra for fun after a tough time with the ‘process’). The real reason I look like that though is that I’m on the prowl for wifi and power and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a cafe, garnering glances from every hippy, business exec and lorna-jane-mum-in-workout-gear-minus-the-workout that exists. And then I even go and talk to the snarky barista to find out about whether there’s a spot that has a power point or two. Worst case at this point is for snarky barista friend to decide he or she is Christopher Columbus’ long lost great-great-grand-cousin and so we go looking around the cafe together generally interrupting conversations and asking old men to lift their legs so we can see if there’s a power point hiding near their chair. Yeah, I hate that. So I started making a list of the cafes that have wifi and power and here it is 🙂
Warning: I’m a bit tired writing this so reviews of each location could get interesting and by interesting I don’t mean crass or incorrect, I mean unhelpful and tangenty
St Coco Cafe – Daisy Hill
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? St Coco is to the Southside of Brisbane what Fidel Castro seems to have been to some of the population who stayed in Cuba? Wait, not a good example, too political and probably not right anyway. Let’s try again. St Coco Cafe is to the Southside of Brisbane what Prince William was to the royal family – about time there was something good to replace all the rubbish and shenanigans of Charles. I have thus decided on the spot to give brief sentences about areas of each cafe:
Coffee – great. Unless you’re a lamb. HAHAHA. That’s because they use beans from Wolff roasters known for their great cafe Dandelion and Driftwood on the Northside. These guys know how to heat the stuff and whip the cheese if you know what I mean. The coffee will make your energy glands water in the best sense of that new saying.
Atmosphere – probably unnecessary since you’re here to find out about the wifi and power. Guess what? Has both. Spoiler alert. The atmosphere here is the best thing though. It’s like sitting in a cinema mixed with the locker room of a famous NBA team with a hint of dancing on the streets of an ancient European city. As you can tell from my irrelevant and exaggerated analogies, I rate it a ‘sweet’ out of ‘cupcakes’.
Power – yes. Up at the bench. If you’re reading this at the entry going ‘where’s the power random blogging dude?’ then walk towards the coffee machine and do a slow swivel to the left 150 degrees until you could lift up your left arm and it would line up with the wall that’s behind the pot things … don’t lift your arm though! You’ll look like a fool. Instead, use your cheeky little eyes to focus approximately 15 metres away. See that corner area of bench where you can sit at? The first bit on the left with a plant thereabouts has power points. Bench time. Power time.
Wifi – yes. Password? Nah, not gonna be that weirdo who shares people’s wifi passwords online. Just ask the staff like a human being. If you’re so weird that when you ask they look you up and down and cringe and say ‘we don’t have wifi’ then go straight to the hairdresser and ask for ‘the lot’.
Vast Cafe – Slacks Creek
This photo is not from Vast but it was all I could come up with since one of the benefits of Vast is that they use Campos. If I were a Russian ballet dancer, the word ‘Campos’ would be the unexpected sound of a hidden orchestra giving me a surprise-live-recital in front of Putin, Edward Snowden and the awe-struck Russian public. Unfortunately, I went looking online for pictures that do the atmosphere, coffee OR food any justice and they just don’t exist. If you were to judge this place from merely online reviews and pictures you would give it a miss, but you must try it.
Coffee – Campos.
Atmosphere – Vast is a furniture store that also has a cafe. I think this actually helps the atmosphere because the feel of the rest of the store is very homely and stylish. So when you sit down to catch up with a friend or to finish that complicated excel budget spreadsheet, rather than feeling like a ‘cold’ cafe, it’s more like a stylish 60 year old couple who’ve experienced quite a lot of success without letting it get to their heads have invited you over to their place where they’ve spent years investing in exactly the furniture they like. And then, to top it all off (if you’re an introvert like me), they say ‘enjoy a great coffee’, smile, click their heels and disappear, leaving you in the wonderful gift of your own company.
Power – yes. At the back of the cafe there is a bench seat with a number of two person tables. The one closest to the outside of the cafe has a double power point near the floor.
Wifi – yes. Password? Don’t need one.
Blacksmith Specialty Coffee – Mount Gravatt East
Great little cafe in Mount Gravatt. The coffee is good but I’m not sure about the food since I’ve never eaten there. I’ve heard the wifi can cut in and out which isn’t ideal, but apart from that it’s a great spot near Garden City and quite central if you’re a Southsider looking for a place to stop and do some work in the middle of a busy day.
Coffee – Good, not the best coffee I’ve ever had, but I always enjoy it.
Atmosphere – Not bad, can be a little crowded especially when you’re trying to do work near the power point and you end up sitting on the lap of another person trying to do work. Giving a lap dance isn’t usually on the agenda when I’m looking for a cafe to do some work.
Power – yes. Long table at the back of the cafe has a double power point just behind the table. Bit tricky to set up power as you’re then looking left and right like a pigeon at a clay shooting event to make sure someone doesn’t try to walk behind you, trip over and break a kneecap.
Wifi – yes. Password? Use your words.
Hallowed Grounds – Mount Gravatt
I wanted to find a picture that was sort of … average. Cause this place and I have a difficult relationship. If I’m in Mount Gravatt and need somewhere to work and I’ve outstayed my welcome (imho) at one of my other favourite places, then I end up at Hallowed Grounds. But I always feel like a cyclist walking into a bikie gang pub carrying my carbon fibre bicycle and nodding everywhere like a woodpecker-lumberjack. It’s awkward like what I imagine it would be like to dress up in an oversized onesie at a nudist colony dance ball. You know there’s nothing weird about what you’re doing, but for some reason you’re out of place and you can’t help but grit your teeth as you make your way around the event.
Coffee – Tastier than Coffee Club … wait that’s not a differentiator from any other coffee or even from gnawing at the roots of an oak tree. The coffee’s ok, don’t mind it. Definitely has caffeine and is always at a level where I don’t think about it. Neither ‘wow!’ nor ‘did a pelican drop a fish in a cup and give it a stir?’
Atmosphere – Better than working from the library. Can’t put my finger on why I always feel so awkward setting up and working here? I’ll be Sherlock Holmes and you be doctor dude. Let’s get to the bottom of this. Who wouldn’t feel out of place here? Hmm. A hipster couple who haven’t had jobs for two years who bring their own milk crate to sit on cause traditional furniture ‘is killing mice and other rare rodents through the way the wood is manufactured using an oil that mice find rather not-so-pleasant’. It’s not that these people frequent this cafe, it just feels like they would have a great time here and set up a tent and maybe even call it their new ‘protest-base’.
Power – yes. Both sides of the cafe have tables with power points in the area. From memory, might need to unplug a lamp for one of them? Yeah, that doesn’t add to the awkwardness …
Wifi – yes. Password? ‘workitoutyourself’
Morning After – West End
This picture sums up the feel of this place. It feels like twenty of the hardest working Europeans imaginable (I’m not being racist, I think this cafe is owned, run and employes Europeans) have just spent ten hours scrubbing every crevice of the cafe and they all look up at you with that ‘don’t-you-dare-eat-my-olives’ sort of glare at the prospect of you dirtying anything. If life didn’t have it’s intriguing unwritten-rules-of-etiquette such as having to buy something to be in a cafe, then the correct way to act in this place would be to raise yourself gently on your tippy toes and then to bourree one clean circuit of the cafe whilst making pretty high-pitched noises with an Italian undercurrent before arriving at the exit, lowering back to the balls of your feet and striding confidently back out into the dirty, grubby streets of West End with an air of nonchalance.
Coffee – Can’t remember. Definitely wasn’t bad. Was too concerned that the way I was drinking my coffee would dirty the cup.
Atmosphere – As I’ve said above, if you’re a clean freak like me, then this place is the wasp’s groin. To add to the fun ‘bleach-personified-must-have-licked-every-table’ feel of the place, there’s also this strange knack the staff have to appear in your peripheral and give you a start. This could be due to the fact that I was on a computer with earphones in, but I swear when I would casually raise my head from my laptop screen there would be an overly-enthusiastically smiling waiter basically doing a handstand on one of my shoulders and I would jump a little. They would then proceed to fill my cup with water which I translate as ‘when you buy more now?’ rather than as a generous supply of liquid.
I’ll write another blog about this idea but for now let me just give you my key to how much you need to buy at a cafe in order to warrant staying there. Piccolo = 1.5 hours. Cup = 2 hours. Mug = 2.5 hours. Food = 3 hours. Great combos can be 2 x piccolos = 3 hours or piccolo + food followed by another piccolo = 4 hours. Give these a try and experience the freedom of not feeling you’ve outstayed your welcome. Except at this cafe because about fifteen minutes after my coffee arrived, my cup was being filled every two minutes and I’m a big fan of water so I’m downing it like Usain Bolt grabbing trophies at an aged care facility olympic event. To add to my awkwardness, I would also constantly grab my ear phone out of my ear when they appeared because I’d see their lips moving and think ‘they’re saying something important.’ Once out of my ear though, I would inevitably hear ‘(indistinguishable words) … water’ followed by a smile. Good service.
Power – yes. At the frontish end of the cafe. Will go back and do proper analysis of where it is next time I’m there as last time I actually came prepared with a charged laptop and didn’t need it.
Wifi – yes. Password? You’ll need to do the splits, climb the nearest building and sing ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ to the neighbours before I’ll give it out.
Blue Poppy – Morningside
Can’t remember for sure if this place has power. Biggest issue I have here is the way the people’s faces are all blurred! It’s like another dimension.
Coffee – Good, need to do a return visit as last time I was there it was one of a few cafes in a day where I was pumping out work so I was quite distracted.
Atmosphere – A bit similar to Hallowed Grounds, feels like a lobster might crawl out from under the fridge at any moment and whisper in a Barry White depth of voice ‘who said you could frequent my favourite cafe?’ I don’t have anything against lobsters, I just feel he would dig this place and find it to his liking and wouldn’t have any qualms moving around like a champion. For me, just a tad awkward is all.
Power – Can’t remember for sure, think so. Will update when I’ve been back and can say for sure.
Wifi – yes. Password? Can’t remember either.
So there you have it. I’ll add to this post as I find more but for now I hope you and your MacBook have some new places to bond.