Hanging out isn't just for the tweenies and coffee shops are just about awakening to the fact, finds Prabalika M. Borah

‘Isn't that place way too crowded by college-going tweenies?' is the usual concern when people who aren't in their 20s look for a place to sip and bite all by themselves, or read a book.

“How about conducting business meetings outside the office? Or catching up with friends and still not feel ‘we are hanging out at a place meant for college goers?' suggests Avishekh Raja, a financial consultant. As his work mostly involves meeting people, he is on the go most of the times, so he prefers settling for express lunches where the place isn't filled with the cacophony of youngsters.

Now, appreciating the need to give real tea-coffee lovers or connoisseurs the much-needed ambience to enjoy their drinks and eats, coffee shops in the city are re-designing or segregating their spaces to keep the youngsters and duniya‘family types' separate so that they may both enjoy their duniya undisturbed.

Testa Rossa, which opened recently, clearly wants to give the much-required space to its varied clientele. Rihaan Guha who runs the show says, “The real coffee connoisseurs feel left out because these places are mostly filled with youngsters. Coffee lovers want a different experience, whether it is for a leisurely cup or a cup to beat stress. We have an ambience that suits customers of all age groups. The seating in the lawn is preferred by those who wish to be all by themselves with a book, a cup of coffee and something to munch on. Some families and young professionals do not really enjoy the loud chatter and banter of youngsters. But we haven't isolated youngsters totally; we have created a space for them and kept the two seating arrangements separate.”

What prompted Rihaan and his partners to take this step is that they really wanted to create a hangout space for professionals, one where meetings over coffee or a lunch are possible without being disturbed.

Peace and quiet

With existing coffee outlets becoming common spots for college goers to catch up with friends and music, the city is in serious need of quiet places for other age groups. For a long time, Deli9 was a hangout hub for such youngsters; but the inclusion of the hookah facility changed that. “Now the renovated place is for serious beverage lovers, to give them the feeling of being at home. The new place is ideal for parents to come with kids, professionals to catch up with work and young adults to discuss and exchange notes,” says Shankar Krishnamurthy, who owns Deli9. Here, people who want to be loud and carefree may sit outside.

The menus too are being tweaked to suit the needs of various groups. These coffee shops ensure they meet the needs of those who love express meals and quick drinks. Truffles, situated at Jubilee Hills, is also an ideal place to unwind after a hard day's work where unloading office and client blues over good food or a soup heals the soul.