Coffee with a Friend: Third Place Commons

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vicki Michels is a woman on a mission - and that mission is to find every coffee shop in the area where you can get a good cup of coffee and sit down to enjoy it with a friend. She has consumed many mocha mint non-fat sugar-free lattes and raspberry muffins in search of information to share with our readers.

17171 Bothell Way Northeast
(Bothell Way and Ballinger Way)
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

By Vicki Michels

According to Ray Oldenberg, PhD, there are three places that you spend your time. The first is home, of course. The second is work. The third place is a location where people gather for social interaction and fun.

To quote their website: "With a large public commons, five restaurants, free wireless internet, a community room, a stage, and over one thousand free public events every year, Third Place Books has something for everyone. Whether you need to study, host a community meeting, or get out of the house for the evening, we hope you will make this your third place."
Third Place Books adjoins The Commons
Photo by Vicki Michels

Within that main entrance you will find not only a large and enthusiastic book store selling both new and used volumes, but also one glassed-in room which can be rented for private gatherings, multiple restaurants, numerous tables in various configurations, and a full stage for public presentations and performances.

This place has virtually everything you might want. The Third Place Commons website will name all the upcoming events -- everything from free banjo concerts to holiday flower festivals.

Honey Bear Bakery at Third Place Commons
Photo by Vicki Michels

The most prominent eating area is the Honey Bear Bakery. It serves breakfasts and lunches, soups, sandwiches, and daily specials. There are also coffees and teas, soft drinks, etc. See the menu on their website, above, for a sample of their delicious daily offerings.

Honeybear Bakery, The Commons and the bookstore are on the upper level, west end of a large community center, the Lake Forest Park Towne Centre. At that location you will also find such things as the Lake Forest Park Library, Albertson's, Rite Aid Drugs, Wild Birds Unlimited, Baskin-Robbins, jewelry stores, bread stores, fishing lures, and the adjacent City Hall, police station and court.

Open - Daily, at 9 a.m.
Close - Monday-Saturday 10 p.m.; Sunday 8 p.m.

The food is wonderful. Breakfast and lunch, plus baked goods and desserts – even wedding cakes! Take look at the menu: Memorable home-made soups, grilled or fresh sandwiches, waffles, omelets, fruit, pot pies…

I've never had a problem. There is parking for the entire center on both the upstairs level and also for the stores below. (By the way, there are both elevators and escalators for those who may have limited mobility.)

Lots of places to sit, no matter which restaurant you choose
Photo by Vicki Michels

There are a great many tables and chairs throughout, so unless the gathering is huge (as for an evening musical performance) there should never be a problem finding a place to sit.

There is free WiFi access, so of course you can bring your own computer. Many outlets are available on walls and on the supporting posts within the eating area.


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