By Paula Diaz and Hunter Miller
After a horrible attempt at parallel parking to avoid as much walking as possible on our way to J’s Place, Hunter and I settled for the nearest church’s empty, and sketchy, parking lot.
Nestled in the corner of Main and Maple Street in downtown Nicholasville, our grumbling stom- achs could be heard as we stared at the coffee shop’s small drink menu. While waffles and scrambled eggs would have fulfilled our breakfast expectations, the simple selection of pastries would have to do.
“I’ll have a J’s Mocha with whipped cream and a slice of zucchini bread, please,” Hunter said.
Quickly reading the rest of the menu, I too decided on a J’s Mocha. With its “white chocolate, swirl of caramel, steamed milk, and espresso,” how could I not want to try the coffee shop’s very own specialty drink?
After the disappointment of there not being any bagels, I decided on a blueberry muffin and sat down with Hunter at the nearest table.
Looking around, we noticed that the interior looked like a modern factory, complete with exposed gray pipes. The brick walls, wooden floors, and tall windows made it seem that much more spacious, creating separation between all the furniture.
To the left of us, there was a kid’s nook with a large flat screen and a couple of colorful play mats on the floor with kids playing around, giving their parents an escape while they enjoyed their morning coffee.
While observing our surroundings, our pastries were brought out on sturdy paper plates.
“Two J’s Mochas!” said the barista wearing an apron with the coffee shop’s orange and purple logo. Whether to get up or to wait, we didn’t know, since our pastries were brought out to us.
But after a quick moment of awkward questioning glances, we decided to get our drinks from the side of the bar.
With a steady stream of customers at 10 a.m., J’s Place seemed more popular than what we had assumed.
Hunter took the first sip of her J’s Mocha, and immediately loving it, expressed that the drink tasted just like fall. I followed and took my first sip, instantly declaring it as one of my new favorite drinks. As our conversation ensued, we noticed some of Asbury’s very own in the coffee shop, immediately giving it more of a homey feel and reminding us of Solomon’s Porch.
While our drinks and pastries were delicious, Hunter mentioned that J’s lack of a more extensive menu along with its slightly steeper prices compared to that of Starbucks’ caught her by surprise.
I agreed but then mentioned that like Starbucks the current playlist – including Jack Johnson and Matisyahu – as Hunter mentioned, didn’t take away from the conversation we were having.
Glancing at my to-go cup, I noticed the words, “Crimson Cup,” near the bottom. We took out our phones and looked it up. To our surprise, Crimson Cup turned out to be a restaurant coffee shop supplier that supports small businesses. The information gave us a new perspective on J’s Place. We realized that although small, they are slowly working towards making a big impact among a commu- nity with several settled coffee shops.
So while spacious in size and small in menu, J’s Place pleasantly surprised us. Coming from Starbucks-loving backgrounds, this new coffee shop is definitely hard to pass up, hopefully making our next coffee date there sooner than later.