Recently, I scheduled a meeting with someone who said she’d meet me at my office.
“I know it’s Uptown Coffee,” she said.
That made me smile. Outside of my home, Uptown Coffeehouse is one of my favorite places to spend time.
Located at the corner of Grand River and Michigan avenues, Uptown is literally and figuratively the center of the downtown Howell universe. Owner Lorna Brennan has built a community touchstone; I once wrote that Uptown is “part coffee shop, part meeting place, part mobile office, part art gallery; it’s all warmth and charm, a place where everyone knows your name and — more importantly — that you like your latté extra hot.”
And this week, the wonderful Uptown Coffeehouse celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Fifteen years. That feels like such a long time. Fifteen years ago, my son was a preschooler who played with games and thumbed through books stocked at the back of Uptown Coffeehouse. This summer, he hung out at Uptown with his friends as they celebrated the end of their high school days and enjoyed the summer. That’s what 15 years means to me: nearly my kid’s entire life.
I’ve been an Uptown regular since it opened. It’s always been a home away from home, a place to get my caffeine, write, and enjoy the company of others. While some say it’s where I hold court, the truth is that it’s where I go for camaraderie and inspiration.
Uptown was also a soft landing spot for me during one of the most challenging times in my life: Way back in 2009, after I was laid off from my newspaper job, I found myself unmoored. Hours once filled with the editing and supervising and busy work of putting out a daily newspaper hung like stones around my neck. It was then that I took up almost permanent residence at Uptown. You can read about that time by clicking here.
I am not alone in my admiration of Uptown Coffeehouse. It was named “Best Place for Coffee in Michigan” by Foursquare last year.
So, happy anniversary to a cornerstone of Howell’s downtown, a home away from home for lots of us, and a business for which we are grateful and of which we are quite proud.
Uptown Coffeehouse is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call (517) 546-1124 for more information or follow on Twitter @UptownCoffeeHse, and on Facebook.