The Los Alamos National Laboratory adds quite a scientific flair to the city, but especially to its Starbucks.
You’ve probably been to a Starbucks, and chances are you think they’re all the same – after all, it’s a chain coffee shop, right? But Los Alamos’ Starbucks is different. Located in the city’s downtown area, the Central Avenue Starbucks has a hometown feel, with friendly baristas behind the counter and historic community photos filling the space.
“It’s in an excellent location, and they have really brought a lot of local history into the coffee shop,” says Ryn Herrmann, marketing manager for the Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corp. “There’s a nice bunch of young folks who work at our Starbucks, and they remember our names and what we drink, which is pretty amazing – you don’t find that very often. It doesn’t feel like a chain at all; instead, it really feels like a local spot.”
In addition to its status as a favorite spot for locals looking to get their daily caffeine fix, the Los Alamos Starbucks is known for drawing residents who enjoy setting up their laptops and working from the coffee shop. As a result, it’s become one of the most popular co-working destinations in Los Alamos.
“When you walk through our Starbucks, you always see people working,” Herrmann says. “Sometimes it’s even difficult to find a seat because there are so many people who’ve set up shop for the day.”
Los Alamos National Laboratory employees also regularly work at Starbucks, and it’s not uncommon to overhear conversations about the lab’s latest projects.
“My team frequently meets at Starbucks to talk about our research,” says Nina Lanza, staff scientist for LANL’s Space and Remote Sensing group. “Of course, we don’t talk about anything classified, but I’m sure plenty of people have listened to me talk about the data we’ve obtained via the Mars Curiosity rover’s ChemCam instrument, which was developed at LANL.”
That’s right; you can hear some of the world’s most talented scientists discussing Mars. How cool is that?
If you can’t find a seat indoors, be sure to check outside. The coffee shop has an outdoor patio that’s perfect for enjoying Los Alamos’ gorgeous weather, and because of its prime location on the city’s main drag, it’s a great place to people-watch (if you’re into that sort of thing – but really, who isn’t?).
With its Cheers-like environment and creative, collaborative vibe – plus the expansive menu of delicious coffee drinks, of course – it’s easy to see why Los Alamos’ Starbucks is a community staple.
If You Go
Address: 1801 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM
Contact: (505) 661-0100
Hours: 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday