Uptown Whittier is a dream for college students. A small, community-driven campus is tucked right above a small area of endless shops, from books to boba to an undergraduate’s favorite addiction: coffee. Uptown houses well-known chains like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean, as well as lesser-known and unique shops like Lift Coffee (which you can read about here) and Local Fixture. Possibly the most convenient of these coffee places, though, is the one just two blocks away from Whittier College’s Campus, on the corner of Philadelphia and Washington — Bark Coffee.
Bark Coffee is the shop you would read about in meet-cute romance novels, except our friendly barista-slash-shop-owner is married, so you’ll have to fall in love with a fellow customer instead. It is a quick walk from the College — close enough that, even if you have access to a car, you won’t need it. An on-foot round-trip to pick up a drink and/or snack won’t take you more than 20 minutes, especially with the quick service offered by Bark’s owner. The shop is rarely busy, so, alongside the quick-pick-up benefit, it’s a perfect place to study or just relax. (Keep that in mind if you visit the shop with friends; Bark is like a library with coffee instead of books, so try your best to respect its quiet and reserved atmosphere!)
The hours are convenient, too. The shop opens just after 8:00 a.m. every day, and closes at 5:30 p.m., so most WC students will have ample time before, between, and/or after their classes to swing by. Bark Coffee offers various milk options (i.e. soy, oat, almond, whole, half and half, and more) for hot or iced coffee, teas (including matcha and chai), and breakfast foods like bagels and yogurts. Nothing on the menu is over $6, with the exception of special modifications, so visiting the shop won’t break your wallet by any means. Their prices certainly compete with the chain shops around the area, and all drinks come in a plastic cup decorated with a snarling (but still very cute) dog.
If you do have time to stick around the shop, you’ll find plenty of little corners to tuck yourself into, whether that be next to the window, or in a darker corner of the shop away from the sun. You’ll have access to free WiFi and plenty of outlets for charging your devices, so you could easily listen to a lecture, finish up some homework, or study while you enjoy your drink(s) and/or snack(s). Plus, given that the shop is so small and rarely busy, you could walk away from your things without worrying about someone swiping them; they’ll be in your line of sight the entire time. The shop also has a public restroom, so you don’t have to worry about leaving in the middle of your study session to find a restroom elsewhere.
Really, Bark Coffee is the ideal coffee shop, especially for Whittier College students. There’s nothing quite as familiar to us as quiet settings and overloads of caffeine; the same goes for familiar faces and friendly greetings. The chances of Bark’s owner remembering you are high, especially if you make it a habit to regularly go and support a small, local business. Bark Coffee struggled slightly without the occasional flow of WC students during our temporary COVID-19 shutdown, so make sure you swing by and show your support for the places that keep most of us going throughout the school year!
Featured Image: Daphne Avila / Quaker Campus