Saturday, March 22, 2014

Public Typing: Places and Grades!

This is going to be an updated and added to list of everywhere I have typed publicly.  It is arranged geographically by state, then city, and finally alphabetically.  I have done this on the computer rather than a typewriter firstly so it can be upgraded, but secondly so that you can all search it with Ctrl + F.  The names of these places are all links so you can learn more or visit.

The grading system is as follows:
A: The facility was accommodating for typing and I was encouraged by staff or management (perhaps even by a simple smile, the point is that I felt invited.
B: The facility was accommodating for typing.
C: The facility was not accommodating for typing.
D: The facility was not accommodating and I felt unwanted by staff or customers.
F: I was asked to leave or thrown out.

North Carolina:

  • Duck's Cottage:  A+  This is a cozy and convenient little coffee shop on the Outer Banks and it is a wonderful place to type.  The staff and patrons are super friendly and talkative, but still let you get plenty of writing done.  Highly recommended if you are stuck on the beach and need to type.

Winston Salem:

  • Billy Bob's Silver Diner:  A+  This is a great family restaurant environment with a friendly staff which went out of their way to accommodate us.
  • Bollo's:  C+  The atmosphere here is good for typing and that would be worth a B rating, but I got the feeling there were a lot of regulars there and I might be unwelcome bringing a typewriter which would give it a D but none of the attitude came from the staff and so I give this place a C and a plus because the positive of the atmosphere outweighs the negative of the average clientele.
  • The Cellar:  A  This is a good restaurant with several choices in atmosphere from the basement and the upstairs to the beer store.  I have typed in the basement and the beer store.  Lighting can be a bit of an issue in the basement but there are good spots, and the beer store has retained a lot of its vintage feel and there are some booths which are wonderful for typing.
  • Chipotle:  C  The bar-style tables are too high from the chairs and the restaurant is often too busy or it echoes too much.
  • Gillie's:  C+  I like this place but it is a busy sit down place by day and too dark to type in by night.  I recommend it for dining but not for bringing a typewriter.
  • Hokie House:  A-  Sometimes the bouncer at the door will not let you bring in a backpack and they can give you trouble but once you are in this is a good typing environment if it is not too busy and you can find a table.  The inside staff is very friendly.
  • London Underground Pub Ltd:  B+  The bar-style tables and chairs here offer good height and lighting is well thought out for a bar with a light over each table in spite of a darker atmosphere.  This is also a good place to get breakfast and write and drink in the mornings.
  • Our Daily Bread Bakery and Bistro:  B+  The atmosphere, tables, and lighting are all supreme and some of the tables are really huge if you have a lot of work to spread out.
  • Panera Bread:  B  This is a typical Panera, excellent to type at but no more special than any other.
  • PK's Bar & Grill:  A+  I have never had trouble getting a backpack past one of these bouncers and the lighting and tables are mostly excellent for typing.  I have been approached many times by friendly customers and staff asking about my typewriter.
  • River Mill:  B-  I enjoy this bar very much but the lighting is too dark for me unless it is day and you are by a window in which case it is a good place to type.
  • Sharkey's:  A-  The staff was friendly but some times of day this is a sit down place and I feel like I shouldn't have been lingering taking my time to write, but in spite of my gut feeling the staff was encouraging and I kept ordering drinks so I would deserve my place.
  • Starbucks (Kent Square):  A  There are a lot of windows and seating choices.  One of the staff approached me and we chatted and they even ended up buying a typewriter from me later.
  • Starbucks (University City Blvd):  B  There are not a lot of seats but if you can get one this is a good place to sit and work.
  • Sycamore Deli:  A+  This is my favorite place to type offering good lighting and a very friendly staff, there are even four typewriters on display inside the restaurant.
  • Top of the Stairs (TOTS):  B  Tots is best known as a bar, and it gets very busy in the evenings and I wouldn't bring a typewriter, but during the day it is slower and there is ample outside seating.  They do serve food too (and it's good!) so you can grab a bite and a drink and type.


  • Idego Coffee:  A+  This place even has DESKS to work at!  Very friendly staff, they even posted a picture of my typewriter on their facebook page.
  • IHOP:  A  Though this is a sit-down place it is rarely very busy so it is good to type here.  The staff is very friendly but watch out for syrup stains before setting your machine down!
  • New River Valley Mall Food Court:  A+  Ample seating and plenty of people watching.  Try to pick a non-wobbly table because a few are no good.
  • Panera Bread:  A+  This Panera has an especially friendly staff and clientele which will sometimes approach you or ask about your machine and it is a great place to type.
  • Starbucks:  B  There is very limited seating but if you score a table this is a great place for typing.
  • Waffle House:  A+  Great Atmosphere, friendly staff, good table height and lots of seating choices.
Northern Virginia:
  • Brewin' Around:  A+  Nice atmosphere and friendly staff, there is also a piano for customers to play.


  1. No "F" grades. Maybe try an Apple store. :)

  2. I really waffle on this depending on my mood. Some days I feel more assertive than others. Last Friday I stayed outside. Got interested looks from, but not approached by, a child in the park and a man at the coffee place. This from my wife, who watches the people.

  3. It's very cool that you're out there "spreading the word" as it were. Or is it "typing the type". It seems that we're novel enough that most people are curious. Good work!

  4. There's a Typewriter's Travel Guide in here, great idea and a relief there aren't an "Fs" so far.

  5. Great idea, Mark. I cannot say that I have yet to pierce the surly bonds of the house walls with a machine for the purpose of public displays of typing.... yet. But we've been working up the nerve to do it, and will gladly contribute to your list. :)

  6. I went to my local health food Coop with my Royal QDL (1955 edition) and typed for an hour or so, - started a few typewriter "conversations". The assistant manager came by, took a picture, and posted it on their Facebook page. By the time I got home, several of my friends had posted it to my FB page, and commented! What fun!

  7. Are you looking for recommendations from other's of us about our favorite "haunts". And we haven't heard from you for a while - how are things? I know that you've got great things to say!

    1. I am about to throw up something tonight. I am not sure whether this should be the beginning of a database or just my own reflections of where I have gone to type. I intend it for my personal use as a record but also as a means to encourage folks to type out.

  8. Of course, I wasn't sure. Thanks for the new posting, and congratulations on the new job!

  9. Typing at the beach A+. Poehy... I'd be scared some kid would slash sand across my typewriter while playing. Haven't tried typing in cafes yet. Must do that some time...