With the recent grand opening of Z-Beans Coffee, which is only a walk across campus, Mercer coffee lovers have had plenty to be excited about.
All of this excitement over Z-Beans overshadowed the opening of another coffee shop, which although is farther away, should still be worthy of serious attention.
Cathedral Coffee is a coffee shop located on Zebulon Road, attached to Northway Church. Although the cafe is partnering with Northway, its focus is to serve high-quality coffee and provide a peaceful workplace.
You do not need to have any religious affiliation to eat and drink at Cathedral any more than you would need to eat at Chick-fil-A. The restaurant does have faith-based values, but their expression of the values is only in providing a place for good coffee and community.
Although I enjoy a nice interior or some funky aesthetic, rarely do I feel completely taken to another place. In Cathedral Coffee, I cannot help but feel a little out of this world, yet I am comfortable and inspired.
Whereas Z-Beans combines elements of industrial, farm-to-table and classic cafe tropes, Cathedral plays heavily on Christian architecture. From a beautiful stained-glass window to massive archways, it simulates the experience of drinking coffee in a Cathedral.
“[It felt like an] old world environment in the best way. I love seeing the exposed arches,” said photographer Peter Garcia. As we ate and spoke, Garcia would often look up from his coffee and glance at the lofty designs around us.
The coffee is comparable both in quality and price to Z-Beans. They have a large assortment of coffee drinks, along with various cafe offering such as hot chocolate.
“The hot chocolate was popping. By that, I mean it was really sugary,” said freshman Cameron Wade. Wade continued to explain that he enjoyed the fully sweet chocolate flavor.
Open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., this location could easily be the perfect place for an all-day study session. Free wifi, plenty of seating and the relaxing atmosphere reinforce that point.
I tried the roast beef and gouda sandwich with their soup special, a chili. The food was nothing to write home about. It was perfectly fine cafe food, but not somewhere I would go just for food.
They also serve a variety of sweets that I did not try; however, they did look delicious.
Although Zebulon is only a 15-minute drive away, 15 minutes seems like a long time compared to the five-minute walk to Z-Beans for those living on Mercer’s campus.
“We are here for everyone who wants premium coffee, outstanding service and a relaxing atmosphere,” according to the coffee shop’s website. I found that they delivered on that promise.
When Z-Beans gets too crowded close to exam time, I could see Cathedral being an excellent alternative. Besides, for those who drink coffee like I do, there can never be enough coffee shops.