Rude Awakening, Fayetteville, NC
227 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
What's the best way to break up a long drive? Coffee.
I had a seven hour road trip up to Baltimore and needed somewhere just about half-way to stop. Now I've heard about Fayetteville from Army brethren... It seems to me that all Army folks have either trained or lived at Ft Bragg at some point in their career. Fayetteville isn't particularly large, but it's not a small town either -- 200,000 folks and the 6th largest city in the state. You could accurately say it's a military town. The area was essentially built up around this massive Army mecca. I wasn't visiting to see folks in little green uniforms though; I was hunting for caffeine.
This shop epitomizes American small town coffee shops. The building is circa 1914. It started as a cafe and then became a soda fountain shop. It's coffee shop debut launched in 1999 with the title Rude Awakening.
The decor is certainly unique. It's covered wall to wall in pink, purple, turquoise and lime green. Coffee is served in dixie cups and the menu is on a soda-fountain style board you might see at a bowling alley.
You're not going to get pour-over coffee or a flat white, but you will get coffee made with love from small-town locals. I was reminded that small town shops have their own mentality; unlike shops in busy cities, the baristas will ask about your day and take their time crafting up your brew. I ordered a latte and let's just say I had plenty of time to wonder through the shop before it was ready.
The shop sells a variety of coffees - the only one I recognized was Larry's, a Raleigh based roastery. There's a serious passion for 'shop local' in the store.
The old-school vibe is consistent throughout - the chairs and tables were great matches for the colorful interior. And this vintage coffee dispenser below is just fantastic.
I've been waiting this whole time to talk about their patio.
This courtyard is somewhat hidden in the back. The shop is a shot-gun style space. It's skinny and long and this patio is found through a single black door in the back of the store. I was so glad I found it, because this area quickly became my favorite party of the shop.
If you're passing through the area or visiting Fayetteville, give it a visit!