Cloquet may not have a Starbucks, Caribou Coffee or other national chain, but the city offers plenty of places to pick up a cup of joe, get cozy with a book or catch up on some work.
Here are a few spots around town — plus a bonus spot in Carlton — to check out the next time you need something warm (or cold, these places have it all).
Bearaboo Coffee Escape
When you walk up to Bearaboo Coffee Escape in Cloquet, the word cozy is not the first word that comes to mind.
The stunning view of Walmart and the attached car wash don't exactly scream “cozy.”
But walk into the shop, and the world changes.
The warm, cabin-like atmosphere will make the massive parking lot across the street seem like a memory.
There’s a small fireplace at the back of the shop, and booths to hunker down and get some work done.
More than likely, new owner Natalie Swanson is behind the counter pulling a shot of espresso or house-made baked goods out of the oven.
Swanson greets you with a smile so genuine you can’t help but feel welcome.
From the outside, Bearaboo may not look like the coziest spot in Cloquet, but inside it feels like the warmest place in town.
ADDRESS: 1005 Stanley Ave., Cloquet
Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gordy’s Warming House
Gordy’s might be the most prominent place to grab coffee in the city.
It’s spot on Highway 33 means it’s almost always busy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not cozy.
The coffee is always hot. There’s something tasty for lunch or a snack, and — for those with a sweet tooth — there’s a freezer full of ice cream to choose from.
Armchairs by the fireplace are a perfect place to chat with a friend, or conduct an informal interview.
There are also plenty of tables if you need to do a little more concentrated work. Though the number of people in and out can make the shop a bit noisy, it's nothing some earbuds and a little music or a good podcast won’t cure.
ADDRESS: 411 Sunnyside Dr., Cloquet
Monday-Thursday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Common Ground Coffee Bar & Deli
Common Ground Coffee Bar & Deli is easily the most spacious spot to grab a cup of coffee in town.
Its location in the former Chief Theater in Cloquet’s West End allows for a counter, some tables and a booth in the lobby. Open the doors of the theater to find a variety of chairs and recliners to choose from, as well as a bookshelf to check out.
With an area for young children to play in the back and a number of comfy chairs for mom and dad to watch them, this coffee shop may be a favorite for parents. There is also a foosball table and other games for adolescents and teenagers.
In addition to coffee, tea and baked goods, the shop also serves hot and cold sandwiches, salads and wraps.
ADDRESS: 103 Avenue C, Cloquet
Monday 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Thursday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
With a name like Magnolia Cafe, it sounds like they might be serving iced tea and pecan pie instead of coffee.
Still, the shop in Carlton offers espresso and fresh baked cookies, as well as a pretty extensive menu for lunch, considering the size of the coffeehouse.
Make your way into the back and there’s a couple of comfy chairs screaming to have someone curl up and get lost in a good book.
The “Monster Cookie” with M&Ms, oatmeal and peanut butter makes for a nice treat if you’re setting off on an afternoon of work on the laptop.
ADDRESS: 206 Third Street, Carlton
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.