The Daily Grind’s cozy, earth-toned café houses a lengthy menu of fragrant beverages and a wall of packed bookshelves. Guests can chitchat on barstools or cuddle in cozy armchairs, fingers or ankles encircling freshly brewed café mochas ($2.75) or grasping wine stems supporting savory doses of merlot ($5; not included in today's deal). Nine flavors of hot chocolate ($2.85–$3.35) sate taste buds, including salted caramel and spicy hot chocolate. Gently used books for sale, scanning, or using to build impenetrable forts line the walls, inviting readers to dive into their lightly weathered pages, and ear drums can engage in the occasional live concert.
When their daughter, Kai, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Tracy and Patrick Watkins knew they needed to provide her with as much love and care as possible. They quit their jobs as engineers and launched a bakery named after their little girl and her favorite treats. In the kitchen at Kai’s Kookies and More, the couple ices custom sugar cookies by hand, transforming circles into edible basketballs and rectangles into festive American flags, all of which can be dipped into house-brewed coffee or bundled into baskets, boxes, or bouquets. Sweeter than a kiss from Cap’n Crunch, mangoes and strawberries fill several varieties of cupcakes and 3-inch cheesecakes.
In addition to packing their display case with handcrafted confections, Tracy and Patrick supply desserts to eight local restaurants and four Monkey Joe's bounce playgrounds. Visitors can also book Kai's for special events such as tea parties and international summits disguised as children's birthday bashes.
To present a revolving ensemble of more than 100 gourmet, organic, loose-leaf varieties, Urbàna Teas & Tonics vigilantly combs through more than 3,000 teas worldwide. The Macaroon Oolong decadently complements vanilla and chocolate desserts with its zesty balance of coconut and floral flavors ($11.40 for 4 oz.). Spicy and sweet flavors blend like an amorous rendition of the “Macarena” with Ginger Pu-erh, a mild and medicinal herbal tea ($17.10 for 4 oz.). Individuals craving fruits, flowers, and earth tones can feel satiated with Urbàna's selection of black, green, white, chai, rooibos, and other teas. Tea cravers can use this Groupon online or at Urbàna Cityspa & Teabar’s New York-style lounge, where beverage-sippers can relax with soothing music and heal their wounds from losing the World Series of snowball fights in Antarctica.
Lead licensed massage therapist Summer Plum will use her years of experience and superhero name to seek and destroy ailments of the muscle and mind. You'll receive a deliberate Swedish massage, a light- to medium-pressured technique, which also happens to be the most popular type of knead. It uses long, connected strokes and kneading to improve blood flow, stimulate the lymphatic system, relieve physical tension, and melt stress into a puddle of biodegradable papier-mâché.
Winner of Creative Loafing's Best Coffee award in 2009, Julia's serves fair-trade coffee and café bites to sluggish bodies and minds while raising money for Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte in the process. As patrons browse the shop's sprawling collection of used books, baristas fill drink tanks with frothy lattes ($2.85/regular; $3.35/large), iced americanos ($2.05/regular; $2.35/large), and steaming mugs of brewed coffee ($1.65/regular; $1.85/large). Legume lovers can savor the grilled veggie-and-hummus wrap ($5.75) and the refreshing spinach, fruit, and nut salad ($7), whereas those looking to pack on protein after an afternoon of bench pressing bench-press salesmen can scarf down a cuban pork sandwich ($6).