Column 15: a unique coffee shop


Bushra Bablu ’24 is planning to double major in government and economics. Bushra serves as an Associate Opinions Editor for The Flat Hat Newspaper and the Business Manager for Flat Hat Magazine. Outside of The Flat Hat, Bushra is also involved with One for the World and Women in Business. Email Bushra at

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

“Hey, we haven’t hung out in a while! Dude I missed you so much. We need to hang out ASAP! Are you gonna be free by 12pm today?” I read out loud the text one of my friends texted me. I looked over at my agenda to see if I would be free by then. I decided to respond with a “yess.” She responded with, “Great! Let’s go to Column 15, it’s a cute coffee shop in Williamsburg that I want to take you too! Matter of fact, let’s invite the others.”

I get into my friend’s car along with three other friends and listen to music blasting on the radio. I knew it was going to be a good day when I received that text. As we get to our destination, I notice how crowded the parking lot is. “Wow, I didn’t know it was that popular,” I said. I was surprised to see so many people in the small coffee shop. This place must be good if it’s this crowded on a weekday afternoon.

When I walked into the shop, it felt like Pinterest came to life. Column 15 didn’t feel like other coffee shops in Williamsburg like Aromas, Illy’s or even Starbucks. Just from the look of the shop, it felt very ‘underground’ but busy at the same time. Column 15 is an indie version of Starbucks, based on the decor on the walls. I looked at the menu.

“Look at all the options, Bushra! I don’t know what I should get.” My friend was very indecisive, just like me. After 15 minutes of just staring blankly at the menu, I finally came to a conclusion and decided to order a Nitro Chocolate Cold Brew drink and a Veggie Deluxe panini board. My drink came first, and after my first sip I felt a sense of euphoria come over me. It felt like a luxurious chocolate milk shake. “Wow, now that was immaculate,” I said without thinking. My friends looked over at me and began chuckling.

About 30 seconds later, when the shop slightly cleared out, we decided to take a seat near the couches with the table filled with books and board games. When we sat down, I felt like I was sitting in someone’s living room. It was very comforting. As it happens, there was a sign above the long couch I was sitting on which read, “Make yourself at home.” I was amused and felt touched. There was a sense of belonging within the cafe, even though other customers were just splurging on coffee while completing work on their laptops.

Next, a waiter came to drop off my veggie panini board. It came with sea-salted chips and a pickle, with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. As a group, we thought it would be fun to play Apples-to-Apples while we munched on paninis and drank cold brews and teas.

Overall, Column 15 Coffee in Williamsburg provides a different type of experience compared to other coffee shops nearby.


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