The grounds of August


At 8:30 Monday morning Cobb Coffee Shop looks dark. A man waits, peering through the front door, where a sign lists the shop's summer hours as 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.; he's sure he sees an employee moving around inside. After a few minutes a food-delivery man arrives and bangs on the door. Cobb employee Joe Gallmeyer, '09, lets him in, along with three customers waiting for Cobb's day to begin.

Open during summer session, which runs through August 24, Cobb isn't the bustling, noisy place it is during the regular school year, especially early in the morning. A couple of students munch on muffins and tap at their laptops, but the majority of patrons grab food on their way to class or work, leaving many tables empty. For the first few minutes after opening, most of the lights remain off. The cafe's famously loud music isn't yet playing; instead the refrigerators' hum fills the air. One student fills her travel mug with hot water and leaves without buying anything.

Twenty minutes after opening, the Talking Heads' "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town" blares from the speaker system. As the noise of marimba resounds, Gallmeyer starts a batch of coffee. The grinding of beans drowns out David Byrne's singing as another customer approaches the register.

Seth Mayer, '08

Photos: A woman makes tea; students get ready for the day in Cobb.

August 8, 2007