February 22nd, 2011
Bungalow: Quiet Coffee in Montrose
It’s not often that I stray away from my go-to coffee shop for a latte or cappuccino, so I was jumping out of my comfort zone when I did so this past weekend. While doing a quick browse of my Twitter feed, I saw the name of a new coffee shop in Montrose mentioned a couple of times and decided to check it out for myself. All I knew was the name, Bungalow, and that they were new to Twitter.
Walk through a small gate, under a giant oak and past some kitschy yard decorations and you’ll find yourself at the front door of a well-restored bungalow – immediately validating the name on Marconi street. Inside is an interesting combination of clothing items, thank you notes, and accessories for sale in one room and a number of different seating areas. What I assume used to be the living room is actually laid out like one – chairs and a couch particularly arranged. Part of the old kitchen serves as the drink ordering and preparation area. The very back room has more seating and a small bar overlooking it.
I said hello to Katie Skorka, the daughter part of the mother/daughter team that runs Bungalow and asked her what she recommended. She immediately pointed out a latte with the “New World” flavor, explained as a little bit of cardamom and other spices. My wife looked over the well-appointed caffeinated and decaffeinated tea menu eventually choosing an orange tea. After a quick peak at the pastries, we settled on the chocolate cheesecake with vanilla topping, paid, and made our way outside to the porch. Total damage, $9.20, not too bad in my opinion.
The coffee comes from a local Houston roaster, Java Pura and the pastries are from a couple of local bakers, one of which supplies Nordstrom’s cafe. Everything was tasty, though my latte was a little heavy on the flavor. Then again, I’m picky and have grown accustomed to my usual at Catalina.
Bungalow Java has an interesting concept it’s working on: lending iPads to guests for free. Gone are the days of borrowing chess boards at coffee shops. Just say you would like to use one while ordering your drink and they’ll be happy to oblige. We spotted a couple of people on the front patio happily tapping and sliding away on Apple’s newest marvel.
There is a lot going on at Bungalow Java but what Denise Skorka pointed out is that their intention is to be a neighborhood coffee place off of the main drag so that people can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee. I’d say that between the giant oak tree in the front lawn and the welcoming environment, they’ve accomplished that part of the goal. The only “downside” I noticed was the proximity to El Tiempo 1308 Cantina and the wafting scents tempting you to eat Mexican food.
Though some may question the tag line, “an uncanny combination of coffee, gifts, and clothing,” I think they have created exactly what they were striving for. It’s a place for people to come with their friends and not have to worry about a noisy street or finding seating. If you’re in the Montrose area or just looking for a quiet place to read outside with a caffeinated beverage, Bungalow should be a stop in your search.
Where – 1219 Marconi Street, Houston, TX 77019
What – “An uncanny combination of coffee, gifts, and clothing”
How Much – What you’d expect to pay for coffee and pastries.
Hours – Monday-Wednesday 8am-6pm | Thursday-Saturday 8am-10pm
Web – Facebook | Twitter