For all you laptop lugging hipster-slackers out there in our town of perennial puddles and gray skies, there’s some good news and bad news. Ok, first the good: Billy Wilson just opened his brand-spanking new second Barista coffee bar location on NE Alberta and it is big (by coffee bar standards, anyway, at 1200 square feet) and beautiful, with a copper-topped service counter, lots of walnut-stained mahogany paneling and furniture and a low-slung, ultra-sleek La Marzocco Mistral espresso machine. Besides abundant banquette seating and a commodious communal table for reading the newspapers available from the wall nearby, there’s a sit down bar too—but better check before sitting at the two spots with brass plaques, one for Stumptown majordomo Duane Sorenson (says Billy: “Duane said he’d kick my ass if I didn’t”), the other honoring Billy’s dad, Franklin. And they pull a pretty damn good shot too.
Now, the bad news: the new joint features the latest in subtle hipster control. That’s right, it’ll be tough to fulfill the hipster/slacker ideal: hanging out for countless hours nursing a single cup of joe and a bottomless glass of free water. There are no electrical outlets for your beloved Mac or any other time-wasting, electricity-sucking PED’s. And the little tiny coffee tables adjacent to the banquettes are about knee-high, so there’s only room for a couple computers per table and you have to bend to about double to see your screen. Hahahaha! Billy even has one other trick up his sleeve: if the joint gets too full of layabouts, he might even shut down the wi-fi. ¡Qué lástima! Such a pity.
If you aren’t too mortally offended by Wilson’s preference to cater to actual paying customers who consume then go, Barista is open Monday-Friday 6 to 6 and Saturday-Sunday 7-6. And it gets better in June – OLCC willing - when the microbrews arrive (4 taps and a half-dozen bottles) and evening hours extend to 10.
· Barista II Is Open and It's Gorgeous [EaterPDX]