Home & Garden

Wi-Fi hotspots can be your workplace around Charlotte

Cafeccino is in a space vacated by Caribou Coffee, in Cochran Commons at 2706 W. Mallard Creek Church Road.
Cafeccino is in a space vacated by Caribou Coffee, in Cochran Commons at 2706 W. Mallard Creek Church Road. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Technology makes it easier to work from home, but that can be too noisy or too lonely at times. And a home office might not be convenient – or spacious enough – for business meetings. Coffee shops and other Wi-Fi hotspots are a popular workaround.

These are Charlotte-area locations where you can grab your morning or afternoon sip, plug in a laptop or tablet and linger without feeling like you might overstay your welcome. Most of these hangouts also have snacks or a full-day’s menu, so you won’t have to duck out when you’re hungry or need a caffeine jolt.

7th Street Public Market

224 E. Seventh St., www.7thstreetpublicmarket.com.

Located at the northern end of the Lynx Blue Line, the market is on the ground floor of Seventh Street Station, where customers get free parking for the first 90 minutes with a validated ticket. Coffee is a ceremony at Not Just Coffee. It serves pour-over coffee and syphon pots in addition to espresso beverages.

Amelie’s French Bakery

2424 N. Davidson St., Suite 102, www.ameliesfrenchbakery.com.

It’s open 24 hours a day, and that makes this spacious spot popular at all hours for casual business meetings and lone-laptop sessions.


2706 W. Mallard Creek Church Road, www.cafeccinos.com.

The business opened last year in space vacated by Caribou Coffee in Cochran Commons on West Mallard Creek Church Road. You can get sandwiches and more with your coffee drink or smoothie.

Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar

7 S. Main St., Belmont. Look for its page on Facebook.

The big picture window gives you a good view of a portion of Main Street. Stowe Park is across the street if you need to stretch your legs for a bit.

Central Coffee Co.

719 Louise Ave.; look for its page on Facebook.

It’s a cozy place, so seating can go fast. You can often get a chair at the front window, which is a choice spot if you don’t need room to spread out.

The Common Market - South End

1515 S. Tryon St., commonmarketisgood.com

The dining room and patio have places where you can plug in. The location is close to the Bland Street light rail station. There’s also parking for those who travel by bicycle – and many customers do. The market offers lots of food and drink options.

Earl’s Grocery

1609 Elizabeth Ave, www.earlsgrocery.com.

On a warm day, the front windows are open and a breeze blows through the dining room. Perch at a table near the windows or pull up a chair at the counter along the back of the dining area. There are several electrical outlets to plug into at those locations. Coffee and prepared, made-to-order and packaged food are available.

Fabo Coffee Art Bar

8428 Park Road, fabocafe.weebly.com

A colorful shop where you can borrow a charger if you forget yours. Art by local talent decorates the walls. Choose coffee, bakery items, wine and craft beer.

Julia’s Cafe & Books

1133 N. Wendover Road, www.juliascafe.org.

When you buy coffee, food and used books here, you’re supporting Habitat for Humanity Charlotte. Not many coffee shops tempt you to also take home a new lamp or comfy chair, but Julia’s is adjacent to Habitat’s ReStore, which is stocked with new and used furniture, fixtures and finishings.

Madalyn’s Coffee and Tea

17111 Kenton Drive Cornelius, http://madalynscoffeeandtea.wix.com/home1.

This little place seats 16, with four tables and an area with more comfortable seating, including a couch. You’ll be treated to soft music (country, Christian and such). The specialty here is espresso, coffee and loose leaf tea.

Rhino Market & Deli

1500 W. Morehead St., Suite E, http://rhinomarket.com/index.html

Camp out with your laptop at the bar, a dining room table, the dining room counter or on the patio. Outdoor seating is limited. You can get coffee and tea, or kombucha, the fermented tea that some say boosts the immune system. There’s usually plenty of parking available.

Smelly Cat Coffeehouse

514 E. 36th St., smellycatcoffee.com.

In the heart of the NoDa (North Davidson) arts district, this place is a good fit – colorful, quirky and friendly.

Sunflour Baking Company

2001 E. Seventh St., www.sunflourbakingcompany.com.

Choose organic teas and organic fair-trade coffee drinks, as well as house-made pastries, breads and sandwiches.

Wi-Fi hotspots

▪ One in five Americans works from home, with some 30 million people telecommuting at least once a week – and those numbers are growing, according to Forbes magazine.

▪ Public Wi-Fi, as found in coffee shops and restaurants, typically is not a secure Internet connection. The Federal Trade Commission offers tips for using public Wi-Fi at www.consumer.ftc.gov.

▪ You often will not be able to access your employer’s secure network from public Wi-Fi. Plan ahead by storing text files and similar documents on your hard drive.

▪ For a more secure connection that gives you access to your employer’s site, set up your cellphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Use your employer’s VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect.