JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Nocona and 217 Coffee

I’m in Nocona, Texas—a town I’d never heard of before a few weeks ago. The man I’m visiting suggested I hit up the “new coffee shop in town.” Which is how I wound up here, sitting at a table inside 217 Coffee.

I have to say—these are my favorite types of places. Outside, Clay Street is sorta … dusty. Picture a small middle-of-nowhere town, now picture the primary avenue running through that downtown, and you’re got Clay Street. A bunch of old buildings. Most open, some closed. Lots of vacant parking spaces. A drug store with a painted PHARMACY sign. Benches. Pickup trucks.

This place, 217 Coffee, is an oasis. A mother and daughter run things. The music is soft. The chairs are comfortable. There’s a couch. A plentiful drink menu. Eats. One is greeted by a basket with small baggies of free animal crackers. T-shirts for sale. This could easily be my favorite cafe in LA, or New York, or Chicago. It has that vibe and feel; oozes something one needs in a coffee shop. Here, your politics don’t matter. Your hostilities don’t matter. Your hardships don’t matter.

Kick back. Have a coffee and some animal crackers.

Just chill.