By Clare Kocher
A short distance away and the loveliest walk, I have fallen under your spell, my lovely Caffe Paradiso. What’s not to love about you? From the wonderful music you play that I always vibe with to the Polaroids of real customers and staff, you truly do have it all.
When I first stumbled across you on that chilly December afternoon, I was not expecting to fall completely under your spell. I ordered a chai tea latte, and I knew as soon as I saw the enormous cups of coffee that I had made a good decision.
Since that day, you’ve done so much for me. You’ve sheltered me from rain on my way home from the bus; given me an escape from events I’m not interested in; provided me with a welcoming space for both reading and group projects alike; and even fed me hummus when I was too hungry to walk home to get food. I’ve stayed until close, been there right when you open, and have stayed for hours and hours at a time.
I have brought my friends, parents, grandparents and boyfriend to you. I introduce my favorite people to my favorite place and relish in the smile it brings me. I spread the word to a chosen few about the secret haven that is Caffe Paradiso.
So true to your name, you are a paradise of unique people to casually observe, a haven from classes and the rowdiness of Champaign. In Urbana, you rule, quietly and loyally from within your flower-painted walls.
A college coffee shop is truly a marvelous thing. I hear stories from my parents about their favorite location, and I know I have finally found my own in you, Caffe Paradiso.