Big Mike’s Coffee Shop is great. It’s located right across the street from UNT campus in the same location and under the same ownership as Voyager’s Dream (before The Man ruined Fry Street…but that’s another story for another time). Their website lists my three favorite things about Big Mike’s – independent, local, and fair trade. They are also ecologically minded. They save their coffee grounds and give them to local gardeners for their compost piles. I also like how they take care of the students. They used to be a 24-hour shop, but now they are closed from midnight to 6:00 a.m. most days. However, during dead week and finals week, they reinstated their around-the-clock hours to support the students cramming during the wee hours of the morning. And on graduation day, they offered anything on their menu at half off for graduates who came in their caps and gowns.
Also – there are signs like this:
(I swear I waited to take the picture until after I had ordered.)
Sounds like this would be my favorite shop in the world, doesn’t it? So why haven’t you heard about it before now?
Confession: I only go to Big Mike’s in the summer.
- Yes, they take care of students. But so do I. I take care of students 40+ hours a week. So I don’t really feel the need to go hang out with students after work.
- Summer, early morning, and Sundays are the only times I can find parking anywhere near the shop. Could I walk there? Sure. Am I likely to do so? Lol…no.
- The atmosphere in summer is really laid back. In fact, all of Denton is more laid back in the summer, because many of the students go home. And because many of the students go home, it’s even more important in the summer to support the local shops that I want to see stay in business, particularly the shops whose clientele is predominantly students.
Summer at Big Mike’s is great. I can walk in, order, sit at a table and stare into space, and no one thinks anything of it (or if they do, they keep it to themselves). The baristas don’t try to rope you into small talk while making your drink. If they talk at all, it’s to say something that’s actually interesting. I have never been forced to talk about the weather in Big Mike’s.
I realize that this might be a point against them for extroverts or normal people or people who are uncomfortable with silence or people who have narrow views of what constitutes good customer service. But for introverts, Big Mike’s in the summer is like Mecca.
My typical order at Big Mike’s when I’m not going to stay for long is a macchiato.
Little shot of espresso marked with foam. And their espresso is gooooood. Sometimes, I even order them when I am going to stay for a while, but then I end up getting four of them, and that’s a terrible idea.
For a while, they had hazelnut milk, but I’m not sure they offer it anymore. I could get a hazelnut latte made with hazelnut milk. Glorious. That was my go-to drink when I would make a coffee run for Maggie and me before HOST meetings. Good times.
So if you’re in Denton in the summer (maybe you’re at a conference at UNT), don’t drive all the way to Starbucks just because it’s what you know. Go to Big Mike’s.
If you would like to contribute to the Coffee Shop Road Trip, you can follow that link to the original post for guidelines. The original deadline has been extended. The new deadline is forever. I am having so much fun, I will forever take posts on this subject.