Our Favorite Places to Work When We’re Not at Work

July 8, 2008

Ever heard of “hot desking?”  It’s a popular term here at Fast Horse.  We were first introduced to the concept when we relocated to our snazzy new digs in an old truck-service garage in Minneapolis’ North Loop district.  

Essentially, we have eliminated traditional offices in favor of more of a coffee shop feel, complete with recliners, over-sized chairs and “study tables.”  Sure, we still have a handful of offices and conference rooms throughout the building, but they really aren’t used much.  In fact, it’s rare that anyone spends a full day working within the walls of the Fast Horse headquarters. Instead we use the freedom provided by today’s technology to set up shop wherever we’re in the mood. 

Not surprisingly, we’ve developed quite a list of good hot desking spots around town and thought we’d share a few.  The common denominator usually is free WiFi, a good beverage, and now that summer has arrived, bonus points for outdoor seating.  Following are some of our faves (as you can see, Taylor gets out the most):

Common Roots – This is neighborhood gem. They’ve got good tea selection, a decent music rotation, tasty bagels and sandwiches, and a patio to boot. They could use some more artwork on the walls and some more power outlets, though. Get there early and order a pot of Golden Yunnan tea (free hot water refill), which will last you all morning, then order a tempeh sandwich to go and leave. (Taylor)

Club Jager – I love the Jag. Nice, old-timey atmosphere, patio, fireplace, two-for-one happy hour that lasts from 4-8 and it’s twenty feet away from our office. The downside of the Jag is that it’s closed on Mondays and the internet connection is spotty on the patio. (Taylor, Scott)

Java J’s – While the outdoor seating may include a smoker or two and there are no stellar baked goods to call out, Java J’s is still a reliable hot-desk location a few blocks down the street from us. They feature lots of outlets, comfortable seating and fairly good soups. (Amanda)

OneOnOne Bikeshop – OneOnOne or OOO or The Bikeshop is probably my favorite neighborhood café/gallery/bike shop in Minneapolis. They make a mean bowl of soup, awesome sandwiches and their chocolate mochas beat a kick in the head. I just wish the people who worked there knew me by name. (Taylor, Amanda, John)

Sebastian Joe’s – Outside of expensive, delicious ice cream, SJ’s has really good almond and chocolate croissants. I mean real good. The outdoor seating is nice, but all in all there aren’t a lot of power outlets. The clientele is a grab bag of pretty, young people and pretty old people. I don’t know about the women’s bathroom, but the men’s bathroom has an industrial hand-dryer, which definitely is worth sticking your hands under. (Taylor, with supporting recommendations by Alli and Amanda)

The Boiler Room – The BR is a good place to go on Sunday mornings in the winter because A) the temperature in the BR is nice and toasty and B) they make fantastic wild-rice waffles that are the closest thing to a mouth-high-five. (Taylor)

Bad Waitress – I use to get mad at Bad Waitress because they didn’t have fries on their menu, but then I got over it. Nice retro-hipster atmosphere, good menu, good tea selection (bonus because it comes in a mini-pot), plenty of power outlets, and decent people-watching. I recommend a pot of Strong Assam, veggie black-bean burger, and a side of hashers. (Taylor)

Moose and Sadies – I don’t know if “Moose” is the name of one of the owners. I like to think so.  Just a good neighborhood restaurant to hang out at and get some work done. (Taylor, Kobi)

Bob’s Java Hut – There’s always a bearded guy with a dog that comes in to BJH. Although I’ll probably never be able to grow a beard (due to genetic reasons), I like to live my lack of facial-hair life vicariously through that guy. They also have a nice motor-lounge atmosphere, a stout selection of hardy cookies, and dogs. I always hit my head on their low-hanging ceiling lamps and then unsuccessfully try to laugh it off. (Taylor)

Wilde Roast – Named after the 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde and complete with a 1900s fireplace and Chesterfield couch, this is a great spot for spending the whole day when you’ve got a lot to do. Start the morning with a nice cuppa’ joe, grab one of their specialty sandwiches or burgers for lunch, and then take advantage of their wine specials as you wind down for the day. (Kobi, Alli)

Dunn Bros. (34th & Hennepin) – It’s bustling but not noisy, has lots of electrical outlets and has several different seating options: chairs, benches and sofas.  Great coffee, too.  (John)

Java Jack’s – Amazing indoor and outdoor areas.  Of course, they have great coffee and non-coffee drinks, but they also have an excellent food selection and bakery items (Rustica Bakery).  You even can get a homemade waffle for breakfast.  It’s full of people of all ages – tons of kids and young parents, older retirees and younger professionals working; a great eclectic mix. (Betsy)

And of course, anyplace outdoors, including our own backyards (or farm, in Jorg’s case).

Got any new suggestions for us? We’d love to hear ’em.