This was our go-to spot for coffee for the first year we lived here. It’s making its way back into our usual haunts again. It’s a fairly popular spot. There are groups of regulars that go to Shake daily, but don’t be intimidated, as they’re quite friendly. The coffee is really good. They can even grind up beans for you to take home if you want.
Shake coffee has a nice layout for a smaller coffee shop. There are intimate little booths that are big enough for smaller sized groups. The seating is comfortable (there are even blankets provided for all the seats) and open enough to accommodate conversation with other tables as well as your own. It’s very easy to lose track of time here. We’ve looked at the clock and realized that we’ve been at Shake for over eight hours! That’s quite an accomplishment for a place with a limited selection of beer that’s slightly overpriced.
It feels very clean inside and they do a good job of staying on top of things. The bathrooms are always stocked and usually clean. There is sometimes some water or something on the floor, that I hope is from people coming in from the snow/rain. The big terrace is not as well kept as the inside area. It seems to go days without any attention paid to the cobblestone. You can bring dogs on the terrace, so that can be an issue if you want to keep your pup clean. In my opinion, it could benefit from a hosing down each night.
The terrace is usually available from sometime in March to sometime in October/November, depending on the weather. It usually fills up in the mid-afternoon and stays full until around dinner time. I’ve never seen Shake completely full inside and out during the summer. So even if you can’t get a table outside, there’s usually room inside. During the winter, there’s a table outside with an ashtray that serves as the smoking area. I’ve seen the ashtrays get quite full before it’s noticed by the workers.
The biggest issue we have with going to Shake is that there are bums and beggars that come by frequently. The staff are usually occupied inside and don’t move them along. It often feels like there’s a homeless shelter at the end of the road and every bum in the city comes by. It kept us away for a lot of months. We became annoyed by the constant interruptions, so we found other places that do a better job of keeping the riff-raff away.
Everyone that works at Shake speaks great English. I’ve seen people from other countries come though and have to use English and they have no problems. The only issue I’ve experienced was with one worker who didn’t understand that I wanted to buy everything for the table. So the bill was split up. I don’t know if it was due to distractions, or perhaps the words I used. A minor issue nonetheless.
Shake is a nice coffee shop. It’s not much of a bar, even though they have liquors and beer available. They have great coffee at a fair price for what you get. There are friendly workers, locals, and tourists. It’s a great place to waste a day.