I was enticed into this bar at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon, not because I wanted a stiff drink or even coffee, but because it was such an aesthetically “perfect” bar. Milk Boy, for all intensive purposes, is a bar, and a good one at that. But they also serve some good coffee out of a Fetco and espresso on a two group Linea, prominently displayed on the back-bar. The coffee venture may be completely secondary to their mixed drinks and beer offerings, but even their second is much better than many full-fledged coffee shops’ “firsts.”
As I was “back-alleying it ” across the city, Milk Boy caught my eye as. As I approached, I saw that it was a “Euro-style” bar-cafe, complete with an open sidewalk patio, a huge open- air entrance, and a well designed wood bar serving up solid brews. Then I realized, after seeing the LM, Milk Boy also featured coffee and their machine was proof they took the concept “semi seriously.” Plus, it was being served on a sleek bar. What a great way to take a break. In all honestly, I think the idea of coffee being served at a full-fledged bar is a good enough reason to check them out, whether you are a visitor or neighborhood local. Oh Firenze…
MB’s set up is modest but committed. Their two group Linea was decked with tampers, a Mazzer, and other brewing apparatuses. After speaking with the barista a bit, my confidence was only slightly shaken by her use of the word “bold” to describe their sourced beans. I was reassured when I learned that the beans were on a rotating schedule and the daily roast was a well-picked Sumaturan. The price was right and the atmosphere of the Euro-cafe won me me over.
The coffee was good and solid. Flavor-wise, it was rather typical of what I expect from a Sumatra, though I think the coffee may have been sitting in the Fetco for a little too long. I would not go out of my way to rave about “superior quality,” but the fact of the matter is, MB is not trying to be a “coffee shop,” just a shop that does coffee. Coming from this perspective, they are doing a great job.
This little shop is a great blend between trendy and “neighborhood.” Rather than being a destination for “great coffee,” I would say that MB is just a “great spot” on a beautiful street with an unparalleled approach. As I have discussed in earlier articles, everyone has their personal needs from a shop: product, location, convenience, atmosphere, or “status.” I find more and more that shops do not focus enough on location in terms of what it offers the customer space wise, not that this is always a bad thing. Choosing a location is complicated, I suppose my point is that, some shops merely focus on the retail space or the convenience (profitability) location of a shop. But MB has done great things by integrating itself into the neighborhood and marrying that image with the right atmosphere. It’s a place to meet friends, watch the game, read a book, or just stop in and enjoy a drink. If I were to reside in Philly, this would definitely be a neighborhood stop for me. Take a visit, you will see what I mean.
- The bar
- Location, street
1100 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107