AROUND TOWN: Caffeine & Camaraderie

Mar 25, 2014 0 comments
AROUND TOWN: Caffeine & Camaraderie

Originally Published In Magazine

Just like every bar aspires to be that everybody-knowsyour-name atmosphere, every coffeehouse wants to be Central Perk, whether they’ll ever admit it or not. The critical difference is that coffee drinkers, addicts that we are, tend to be much more particular about what they drink, contrary to the sitcom version. So it’s not enough to staff baristas who can plow through an endless stream of idiosyncratic orders first thing in the morning and banter intelligently, sarcastically. Or to have an interior mapped out for prime people watching. No, the beans will always come first. At Volo Coffeehouse, bands of locals come day in and day out for the La Colombe and stay for long stretches for any part of and all of the aforementioned. “I come here every day for at least two hours a day,” says Randy Rapoport, who picked up the habit while living in Italy. Volo, he says, is the purest translation of an Italian café he’s found since he returned stateside. Every community has one, even in this isolating digital age—a place where neighbors come to feel like they’re still a part of something. In Manayunk, it’s Volo. Here, a few of the figures who make it the hive that it is.

The regulars, pictured,
at left, from the left:

Michael Ostrow
Why Volo I golf with the owner [Akos Racz], so I know him well. I come twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The pastries are great. The brioche sprinkled with sugar is my favorite. And the Caprese sandwich and soups are excellent.
Drink of choice Latte.

Steve Brown
Why Volo All of us have been friends for a long time. I come every single morning, and have for the last 10 years. I come now as a social thing. It’s a half-hour respite before work.
Drink of choice Cappuccino.

Marty Maaskant
Freelance artist
Why Volo I like to do my artwork here because it’s a healthy distraction. I feel like when there are people around, you’re focused on what you’re doing. It also helps when people see my work at the café. I just sold two pieces. [Maaskant’s planning another exhibit at Volo at an asyet-to-be-determined date, but
it’ll be soon.]
Drink of choice A small house coffee with milk and honey.

Jeff Lorenz
Co-owner, Tiny Terra Ferma
Why Volo My wife worked here when we first moved to Manayunk. I used to get everything for free. I got addicted. And now I’m a paying customer. I get a cheese Danish every day. The Danishes remind me of ones I used to get in Montreal, where we used to live.
Drink of choice Café au lait.

Annie Scott
Co-owner, Tiny Terra Ferma
Why Volo It’s the best coffee. I’ve been coming here for five years. I’ve also known Akos for a while.
Drink of choice A house coffee with cream, sugar and cinnamon. (The cinnamon balances your blood sugar.)

Randy Rapoport
Composer (Not pictured)
Why Volo I’ve been coming here for three years, since moving back from Milan. There are about 20 or so of us that meet here in the mornings, and it rotates. There are even more of us on the weekends. It’s a very liberal crowd, but the conversation varies. The older guys talk about cars and the younger guys talk about women.
Drink of choice I lived a lot of years in Italy, and this is the only place to get a real cappuccino.
Recent Posts
Leave a Comment!
This thread has been closed from taking new comments.