I work from home, but these are the 5 places I go when I just have to get out of the house

I work from home, but these are the 5 places I go when I just have to get out of the house
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(Note: author David Hale is a college football writer for ESPN and this is part of our First Person series)

Working from home is a great gig if you can get it, but if you’ve done it for long, you know cabin fever starts to set in quickly.

When I need to change out of the pajamas and mingle with a few other working stiffs, here’s where I go.

Earl’s Grocery


Location: 1609 Elizabeth Ave

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

The perks: Great food, strong coffee, a cooler full of beer, juice and kombucha, and functional Wi-Fi, and since plenty of Uptown’s movers and shakers make Earl’s a regular lunch spot, there’s opportunity to do some networking, too.

The problems: It can get loud at peak times. WiFi can be slow at peak hours, too. And while there’s ample seating most of the day, Earl’s gets crowded at lunch time and management restricts computer users to the bar and charging stations.

Fud at Salud


Location: 3306 N. Davidson

Hours: noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday

The perks: Fud has a diverse, unique menu, chock full of options for vegans and vegetarians, plus coffee and a great assortment of beers. The WiFi works well, and daytime hours aren’t overwhelmingly crowded. Fun, high energy vibe.

The problems: Parking in NoDa is never easy. Fud and Salud will be expanding, soon, but seating is currently limited. If you’re the type to need a calm, quiet working atmosphere, it’s worth noting that the metal, hip-hop and live stream from Philadelphia’s WMMR radio station are usually turned up to a volume befitting its NoDa locale.

Olde Meck Brewery

Location: 4150 Yancey Rd

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday

The perks: Lots of great beer. The space is huge, and affords an opportunity to work indoors or outside. Friendly staff and a surprising number of other folks already there with laptop. Food menu works nicely for a mid-day snack.

The problems: One or two beers might spark your creativity. Three or four though? Your work day may end a bit early.

The Westin


Location: 601 S. College

Hours: The lobby’s always available, but bar hours are 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The perks: We chose the Westin, but many Uptown hotels offer excellent lobby space to get some work done. Comfortable chairs for relaxing, a bright, spacious space and generally reliable WiFi provide a business-casual feel, while the bar and shops make it easy to grab a coffee, snack or drink.

The problems: Don’t count on easy parking, and nothing in the surrounding area is free. While access to food and drinks is easy enough, the price tag can be a bit intimidating. The time spent at a hotel may actually be a little too close to a real vacation to allow for much motivation to work.

Central Coffee, South End


Location: 1700 Camden Rd.

Hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The perks: While the Central Ave. location is a cozy workspace, there’s not much seating. The South End location offers a bit more room to spread out and plug in. Great coffee and just enough noise to provide some energy without a big distraction. They’re open early, too, so no need to push through the morning before getting out of the house.

The problems: Limited food options, though if you’re in the mood for a real lunch, Price’s Chicken Coop is just a half-block away. More comfortable than it’s Plaza Midwood equivalent, but still not huge, and the acoustics make even minor noise seem loud.

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