Just a couple doors down from Maggie’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, Spiller Park Coffee is a brand new coffee house close to campus, ideal for any caffeine addict seeking a new haunt.
Opened only two weeks ago, the decor in the dorm-sized cafe is half finished: The walls are half decorated with vinyl albums, and the menu is half a sheet of flimsy printer paper. Only a limited number of options are available. The coffee, however, is just what you need to wash out the stale aftertaste of Kaldi’s.
I ordered a latte, and the two-person staff was quick to deliver it to my Instagram-worthy backdrop table (beautiful gray and white marble waiting to be photographed). Given the size of the shop, the service was great; my coffee arrived minutes after I ordered. As an unabashedly admitted coffee novice, even I didn’t need to add a single grain of sugar to my latte due to the creamy aftertaste of the rich, abundant dairy.
All coffee items in the shop are served with a glass of water, and all drink items (including the teas) are served on little metal trays, brought directly to customers’ tables. The seating was standard for a coffee house: tables for two inside and colorful metal chairs outside on the sidewalk.
The pricing was similar to that of Starbucks (if anything, cheaper than Starbucks), but the coffee was better quality. The drinks were served in classic mugs for customers staying in and clean, white to-go cups stamped with the “Spiller Park” logo for customers on the go.
Most items on the menu were fairly typical of a coffee house: There was the standard latte, cappuccino, Americano and so forth. From there, there was an assortment of teas that can also be found at Kaldi’s — chai and oolong, to name two.
Apart from snacks like fresh fruit, yogurt and granola, Spiller Park only offers toast with a variety of toppings, such as avocado, nut butter and nutter n’ fig.
The peaceful atmosphere of Spiller Park was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of students at The Depot on a Sunday afternoon. A few customers were scattered throughout the inside, typing at their laptops. Soft, indie music trickled into the background of the shop, accentuating the serene vibe. Half of the walls were made up of windows, allowing in as much natural lighting as possible and brightening up the small space, but, even so, the cafe felt slightly cramped.
The only drawbacks to the cafe are the distance from campus (unless you were intending to hit up Publix, Spiller Park and Maggie’s all in one trip), the high prices and the small space.
I recommend Spiller Park Coffee to any local coffee enthusiast, though for the price of the coffee (around $4) and the price of the commute, brewing your own cup of joe is a better alternative when facing a late night of studying. Plus, the hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, making late night caffeine runs impossible.
Overall, I would enjoy a visit to Spiller Park Coffee again. But since I do not care to pay twice the price of a cup of coffee to travel there, I will probably end up having a late-night latte at Kaldi’s once again, despite the aftertaste.