Weird Science

Downtown Arlington (Texas) is currently enjoying what one might call a renaissance of sorts. No longer solely relegated to the lower-class, the city has in recent years been investing in it’s downtown aiming to bring it back to its former glory. It’s even adopted the slogan as “America’s Dream City” to evoke the feelings and changes made. They’ve even fittingly rebranded part of the city inhabited by both the baseball and football stadiums as the “Entertainment District.”

In my former working life outside the home, I worked as the admin assistant to the CEO of a local non-profit in the city where I interacted regularly with the board members of said non-profit. One of the gems of getting to know these business men and women of the city was knowing how they were able to have a hand in molding and shaping the landscape of their local community.

One such board member has a stake in an upscale coffee bar called Urban Alchemy. Completely locally owned and operated, Urban Alchemy offers a sophisticated selection of yummy eats and drinks to its clientele.

Thursday, I visited with an old colleague at Urban Alchemy around lunchtime. The little place was hip and charming. A wall of windows on one side gives you a view of Main Street and the industrial decor evokes a little bit of a hipster vibe without being too pretentious. Touted as Arlington’s living room, the atmosphere reminded me of old Coffee Haus days with bistro tables, but there were also comfy-looking mid-mod sofas and accent chairs mixed in.

We both enjoyed affogatos (espresso poured over scoops of ice cream) and they were absolutely delicious despite the chilly day. I usually enjoy mine with vanilla ice cream, but they offered me one with cinnamon ice cream. I loved trying something new that I hadn’t even thought of before. I also noticed a small, yummy-looking menu online, but decided just to try the coffee for the day.

They even carry a line of their own coffees created exclusively for Urban Alchemy. The local roasters I discovered were originally the ones running one of my favorite coffee houses as a teenager/college kid. The Coffee Haus in Lincoln Square holds so many memories… They had branched out in other cities prior to closing the Arlington location back then, so I am so excited to see their presence in the city again!

The place is small, but pretty special. It’s a place one can enjoy coffee with old friends next to a table of executives holding a small business meeting. I recommend stopping in for a quick treat whenever you’re in the vicinity. Find them at 403 E Main Street.

What’s one of your favorite little cozy spots in your city?

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