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Found in the 'Zoo: Water Street Coffee Joint

Posted Sep 27 2012 - 9:41pm

There are a lot of places you can stop in town for a cup of coffee, but Water Street Coffee joint offers a much different experience than most coffee houses. One of the best defining characteristics about Water Street? It’s one-of-a-kind and only found in Kalamazoo.

The business got its start in 1993 when owner Mark Smutek opened up his first location at 315 East Water Street, in downtown Kalamazoo. Since then, Smutek has also opened up a location at 3037 Oakland Drive, and his last addition inside Borgess Hospital, located off of Gull Road.

According to the company’s website, their main focus is to be a huge part of Kalamazoo’s community. Aside from their obvious passion for serving (and producing) the perfect cup of coffee, Water Street also provides its customers with a fresh and mostly local food menu, which includes an assortment of homemade sandwiches, soups, salads, breads and pasties. Their food is made fresh daily, using as many ingredients from Kalamazoo’s local farmer’s market as possible.

Some of the business’ regular customers mentioned that their favorite items to order are the breakfast burrito, quiche and chicken salad. Many Water Street lovers also recommended trying Palazzolo’s gelato, which also happens to be a local company, located in Fennville, MI. Another great change about Water Street’s menu is that they do offer many vegetarian and even vegan items for those who may be following a special diet. WaterStreet will also provide you with real dishes if you chose to dine in, a convenience that isn’t an option at other ordinary coffee houses.

In order to get a better idea of what Water Street Coffee Joint is all about, I spent an afternoon there, relaxing and studying. I chose the Oakland Drive location mainly because it is larger than the other two locations, as well as its proximity to WMU’s campus. The atmosphere is extremely inviting and I found it to be the perfect place to study. I ordered a Sleeping Bear Mocha (Water Street’s version of a white-chocolate mocha) and cozied into a booth for a good portion of the afternoon. I also found their hours to be perfect for those late night “cram sessions” right before an upcoming exam. The Oakland Drive location stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday’s, and until 11 p.m Monday through Thursday.

So the next time you’re thinking about heading to Starbucks or Biggby Coffee, whether you’re grabbing a cup before class or looking to fit in some studying, I recommend a trip to Water Street. Although you may have to spend a little bit extra, their warm atmosphere and delicious menu are absolutely worth it. Even if you’re not a coffee-lover like I am, I guarantee they’ll have something you’ll enjoy. You may even find yourself becoming one of their regular customers!
 

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