By Riley Eisenbeil
For college students, having a space to meet with friends, unwind and be productive off campus with free wifi is essential — good food and drinks (aka study fuel) are also a plus.
By taking a break from the campus environment, students can refresh their minds and approach their work with renewed focus.
Pretty Bird Coffee in Yardley, Pa. checks all these boxes and is only a 15 minute drive from campus, which explains why it’s a popular choice among students from the College.
The café was founded in 2017 by Jim Cain, the owner of Vault Brewing Company, a speakeasy-style bar across the street from Pretty Bird.
Since it opened, Reed Markowitz, who has been working at the cafe since 2019, said that people come to the cafe daily for a multitude of reasons. Even with a Starbucks next door, he notices that a lot of college students are choosing their space.
“I think the vibe we bring is a lot different than what our neighbor offers,” said Markowitz. “You can go to any place like that and get that sort of coffee, but here there’s all this special stuff and we make it from scratch. It has a cozier vibe overall.”
Walking into Pretty Bird, customers are met with the smells of homemade baked goods, melodious background music and a comforting greeting from the baristas. Students can clearly feel the effort that the baristas are putting in.
“It’s such a warm environment, and I love the conversational atmosphere,” said junior psychology major Alex Copeland. “There [are] many tables there too so it’s great for studying.”
The seating inside features short tables with either chair or booth options, tall tables and bar style seating, and most seats have an outlet within reach.
Part of the reason the café is so loved is because of its extensive menu. They carry coffee shop staples like espressos, teas and cold brews, but they also have at least five different flavors of lemonades, at least 11 kinds of lattes and countless kinds of tea. They even sell their own brand of coffee in store, along with t-shirts, hats, mugs, stickers and pins.
Junior psychology and criminology major Sophia Santos said that she goes to Pretty Bird all the time.
“I was just there this morning,” Santos admitted. “I love it there!”
Pretty Bird Coffee is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Since the shop closes relatively early, the owners decided to turn the space into a restaurant at night.
Originally, Kawaii Tori, a sushi spot whose name means “Pretty Bird” in Japanese, occupied the space. Deep Roots, a vegan restaurant, took over next. Now, Pretty Burger has taken up residence.
Operating as a café by day and restaurant by night is not only innovative, but also convenient. Students can get breakfast and a coffee in the morning to get some work done, and then pick up a burger and fries before heading home for the day.
A local establishment as versatile as Pretty Bird Coffee that meets the needs of college students in terms of proximity, atmosphere and resources is a valuable asset to the College’s community.
“A lot of the time we’re the first people that someone sees in the morning,” said Markowitz. “I want to try to make that interaction as positive as possible so they keep coming back and, more importantly, for them to have a good experience.”