Valentine Cafe Oak Creek – Drexel Town Square – 7981 S. 6th St., Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Open 6 or 7am to 10 or 11pm, depending on if it's a weekday or weekend.

I first had a cup of Valentine coffee at their cafe out on Vliet Street, next to the Times Cinema, a couple of years ago, but I haven't been out there since. I've noticed their coffee at a few places since, and it seems to be excellent. Though, of course, anyone's capable of messing up good coffee beans by the time it gets to your cup. I've been drinking coffee for like 80 years now and I still am capable of making bad coffee. There are so many factors involved. A lot of coffee shops can get away with making bad coffee, too, since a lot of people don't know any better, or are so addicted to caffeine they just don't care, or else put so much milk, sugar, and flavor in their coffee it's not really coffee anymore. Anyway, my impression was that this place is serious, and you're going to get good coffee. I just haven't made it out there lately—but I did stop by their newer location, in Oak Creek, at the Drexel Town Square.

This is a very new development in Oak Creek, which is almost too far away to be called a suburb—it's halfway to Racine—but I guess it functions as a suburb. This Drexel Town Square is so new if you look at satellite photos (as of this writing) it still looks like a dirt field. It's kind of exciting—it's not just a shopping center—there are civic buildings, apartments, and best of all, a public library. That alone made me want to move there and be part of the experiment. But then I got a little creeped out, since all of the businesses that are opening are versions of other places—I realize that's the nature of chain stores—but some of these, like the Valentine Cafe are pretty singular. I started to wonder if there are underground tunnels and—well, see Westworld (1973) (the movie; I can't speak for the TV show). So, I don't know—is that a good or bad thing?

Anyway, the Valentine Cafe is good—there's a lot of places to sit, including kind of a cool upstairs (even though those chairs are a little weird). There are some giant windows in this place—and it was bitterly cold, but warm enough inside—but I'm wondering about the summer. Either they will open it up to make it semi-outdoors, or it'll be a greenhouse. I'm not sure how long it's going to be for the newly planted shade trees (I'm hoping) to provide enough shade. Anyway, a lot of food at this place, and the people working were cool, (I don't think they were robots), and I had a big old latte that was expertly made and quite delicious. Even though I have a list of about 200 local cafes to check out, I'm looking forward to revisiting this one—at which time I might write a new entry or add an addendum—or maybe just enjoy myself and be quiet.

Richard Skiller 3.13.18