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This Donkey Knows How to Kick

This morning I had an 8:00 am car service appointment on the southside of Springfield. Yes, 8 o’clock in the morning. On the southside. Two things that put my little hipster brain in a tailspin. But alas, I decided to try out Dancing Mule Coffee Company while I waited for my freshly serviced Jetta. To be honest, I didn’t expect much. Here’s why:

1. the place is called Dancing Mule.
2. it is located in a nondescript shopping center south of Sunshine.
3. one word: drive-thru-centric (okay, I cheated).
4. did I mention the place is called Dancing Mule?

So I braved the morning traffic and crossed Glenstone Avenue on foot, where I soon got my pretense handed to me on a plate. First, they serve PT’s Coffee; as far as pure coffeery, they’re not fooling around. PT’s is an award-winning Midwest roaster, and I’ve never been disappointed taste-wise with a shop that serves them. But I do have to admit, as much as I like coffee, I’m more personally interested in coffee culture and a big part of that is taking a look at the spaces where we find ourselves drinking coffee, working on our Macs, and reading our Dave Eggers’ novels.

And here again, I’m pleasantly surprised with Dancing Mule. They’ve outfitted this place where it doesn’t really feel like I’m sitting in a nondescript shopping center so indicative of southside Springfield. The look isn’t as über-modern as I would have chosen, but I’m not their interior decorator and it’s a far cry from bad looking. I feel comfortable here and don’t want to leave quickly. I want to linger and enjoy my drink, listen to the barista educate a customer on their brewing methods. And isn’t that the point of a good coffee shop? Good job, team Dancing Mule—you make this side of town better, and that’s not an easy feat.