I’m always on the hunt for the perfect spot to work remotely, a place with great food and drinks. Reliable WiFi and accessible electrical outlets are also a must. And coffee’s great, but sometimes I need to settle in with a beer or glass of wine. The atmosphere needs to be just right: comfortable, quiet and spacious. Relaxing is the word. Well, after years of driving from coffeehouse to cafe to the occasional bar, I’ve found it at Cafe Keough.
It’s everything I could want to work away from work. Located at 12 S. Main on the Main Street Mall, it’s not the most parking friendly. But I find myself trudging along, drawn to the historic building’s charming French bistro and tapas menu, smooth lattes, and worn tiled floor of the stately 4,000-square-foot open space. Ultimately, its Lillet cocktail menu won me over. They also have wine and local beer on tap.
When you walk in, giant chalkboards display a coffee and food menu, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. You order at the counter, where behind a glass case you can also get Mexican Coke, Pellegrino, and sometimes homemade macaroons. Seating-wise, take your pick from outside on the patio or inside at small round wooden window tables, comfy banquette seats along the wall, or if you need to spread out a bit, like I sometimes do, there are big heavy dining tables set off in the back.
Oh the food. The French onion soup is divine, and you can’t go wrong with any of their sandwiches served with your choice of salad, fresh fruit, quinoa, or a cup of soup. I enjoy the roasted chicken panini, but my editor (who recommended Cafe Keough in the first place) swears by the roast beef sandwich made with sweet onion, provolone, arugula and mushrooms. In fact, he’s determined to convince owner Kevin Keough to give it his namesake. Richard’s Roast Beef? They also offer salads and daily special soup and panini.
Kevin Keough opened his restaurant in late 2013, but it feels like the kind of establishment that’s been around for ages. Locals and business-goers pop in for a bite or a coffee to go, but I can always find a table to claim, sit awhile, and get to work. When I’m done, I genuinely hate to leave.
Cafe Keough, 12 S. Main St., 901-509-2469 (lunch $7 to $10; coffee $2 to $5)