Swirl Arrives

I live in New Rochelle, N.Y.—a one-coffee shop town.

The one coffee shop, predictably, is Starbucks. I like Starbucks. Solid java, nice people, you always know what you’re gonna get. Huge chunks of my books have been written in Starbucks across the country.

But, well, Starbucks gets boring. They have limited outlets, the music always sucks, blah, blah, blah. Yawn.

Today, a new coffee shop opened up. It’s called Swirl Coffee and Tea Room, and is located—sorta oddly—right across the street from Starbucks. When I initially heard of the joint, I was skeptical. A. It’s kosher, and generally kosher places are more expensive, with a dip in overall culinary quality (based on ingredient limitations). B. It’s located along a strip on North Avenue where businesses come and go, come and go. C. I’m a skeptical person.

And yet … Swirl is cool. Really cool. I’m sitting inside as we speak, by the big window up front. The music is much better than Starbucks. There are outlets everywhere. The wifi connection is stronger than Starbucks, and the drink prices are comparable. I haven’t tried the food yet, but it can’t be any worse than Starbucks’ nasty array of boxed entombed sandwiches. Also, there’s a study room—with chairs, couches—in the back and a play area for little kids to the side (VERY smart). Huge pluses. Oh, and they have a thing of syrups alongside the milk. Nice touch.

Anyhow, I root for the underdogs. And, in the green neon glow of Starbucks, this place is an underdog.

But, I’d say via first glance, a most worthy one.