Ever get a craving for a cup of coffee late at night? Do those cravings also come coupled with the desire to go out somewhere for a little while and enjoy said coffee? The problem is, as the night goes on, more places close up shop until the next morning and the only places that are open that serve coffee are diners. Now, I love diners, but I am usually not a fan of the plain coffee that diners serve.
If you take a late night journey down Second Avenue in Long Branch, New Jersey, you’ll find a place lit up well past midnight with a sign reading “The Inkwell Coffee House”. Their business model? Be a real late night coffee shop for the night owls. From 7pm til 3am, their doors are open for the late-nighters to congregate and enjoy a quality cup of coffee, snacks, or even a meal if they so desire.
The first thing I will say about their coffee is that it is fantastic. They have everything from plain, regular coffee to flavored coffees, espresso beverages, specialty coffees, and more. I highly recommend any first-timer there to try the Dutch Coffee. It is perhaps the greatest coffee I have ever had in my entire life.
The Inkwell’s owners have a very smart strategy in marketing solely to the late night crowd. With Monmouth University located less than a mile away and more than five bars near their establishment, they are in the presence of a lot of people who are out late and would want a meal and cup of coffee. Sure, there is a McDonald’s open 24 hours by the school and a few places that deliver food late at night, but none of them offer that intimate, sit-down type environment that makes going to get food and coffee into a social outing.
As for the food, I have never had a complaint with any of the meals or snacks I’ve eaten there. Their food is comparable to basic diner-style foods with some of their own unique creations thrown in the mix. Their large menu guarantees a diverse crowd will find something they will enjoy.
Why is Inkwell a place worth mentioning, you may ask? Well, to me, it’s the only place I’ve ever found in this state (so far) that I would call a true coffee shop. Coffee shops are about the social aspect, where one can sit down in a place that has a warm environment that both encourages social interaction and provides a hideaway for someone in search of solitude. I’ve been to so many coffee places in this state and very few have that atmosphere. Most places, people just walk in, order their drink, and take off. With Inkwell, you’ll find very few people ordering coffee or food to go. Mostly everyone that ventures inside Inkwell are planning to sit down and stay a while.
Again, I highly recommend you try that dutch coffee!