Final Grade: A
I’m at school ten days early for the Spring Semester because I took a position as a winter Residence Advisor. Since I have an abundance of time on my hands, I’m trying to mix things up so I don’t end up sitting in bed all day watching The Tudors (my new obsession).
Today I walked into the newly opened Parlor Café, previously known as The Elf Parlor. Located on Ashland Street, directly across from the Townhouse Complex fire lane, it’s in the perfect location for the college students of MCLA. Never having had the chance to experience The Elf Parlor, I can’t say whether much has changed or not, but at first glance I was amazed by how welcoming the atmosphere was.
With only a few customers, I chose a table and whipped out my computer, feeling a blog on the rising, counting the free wifi as a blessing. Providing more room than Brewhaha, I wasn’t too concerned about taking up a whole table for myself and the 80 cups of tea I was likely to order. Grabbing a menu from the counter, I marveled at the multicolored glass tiled ceiling above the bar and how well it complimented the lime green painted walls.
The prices were reasonable (even for a college student like me) so I ordered a French Toast bagel with home-made Parlor hummus and a pot of Jasmine Green tea. Adding a touch of personalized flare, there were two tip jars: one labeled mountains, the other beach. With one look out the frost-covered window, I chose beach of course.
The menu was fun and elaborate, offering something for all tastes and flavors. On a whole separate menu, the teas available were listed (on both sides) with short descriptions of their history and expected tastes. Just glancing at it, I knew my mother (a major tea snob) would grant it her seal of approval when I brought her to the Parlor next week.
An acoustic guitar hung on the wall above a tribal drum at the back of the Parlor, available for anyone to grab. As I sat there enjoying my bagel and tea, a mother and father and young daughter sat a few tables away. The father tuned and strummed the guitar while his daughter hummed along while coloring. Behind me on the inviting loveseat by the window, the mother relaxed with a magazine. Being only one of the six people in the café, I was surprised by how comfortable the café made me feel even though it was nearly empty.
A bookshelf by the bathroom offered extra blankets, books, magazines, and board games. Earthy, rustic, modern, and warm all at the same time, I could tell all types of customers would find solace at the Parlor, just as I did. Though the walls were devoid of art, I had no doubt that they would be filled as soon as word got around that The Parlor Café was the place to be.
Jason and Elizabeth, the owners of the café, were more than accommodating when I offered to hang a few of their flyers on my residents’ doors and spread the word of the café. Enjoying my visit immensely, I look forward to returning (probably tomorrow morning if I’m honest with myself) to try the coffee and muffins I spied in the display case. Now that I’ve found my slice of heaven in this tiny town of North Adams, nothing will keep me away. Thank you Jason and Elizabeth for opening this lovely café!
Check them out at www.theparlorcafe.com or find them on Facebook!