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Coffee Shops in Clayton and Beyond Prove Welcoming for Virtual Workers

St. Louis Patch editor Holly Edgell reviews six local eateries based on ambiance, layout, the meeting factor and more.

When the tools of your trade can fit into a briefcase, backpack or computer bag, the world is your oyster. A person living the virtual life may work from her sofa, the library or community center, a park bench, a  or—of course—a coffee shop.

In the first installment of this column, I focused on . The greater St. Louis area also has a wide range of neighborhood coffee shops and eateries that provide good environments for conducting business. Here are a few where I've plugged in:

Kaldi's, Clayton

  • Ambience: Bohemian-Intellectual. . The decor is a bit worn around the edges, but the place is welcoming and bustling.
  • Layout: Three distinct rooms and a patio.
  • Meetings: If you don't mind the person at the table next to you hearing (and even joining) your conversation, this is the place for you. 
  • Free Wi-Fi? Yes. Ask for login credentials when you place your order.
  • Keep in mind: The menu here is vegetarian, and there are no electrical outlets where you can plug in your laptop.

My Daddy's Cheesecake, Clayton

  • Ambiance:  Bright and breezy. borders a residential neighbor and a busy thoroughfare. 
  • Layout: Two distinct indoor areas, one with a row of booths, and a patio.
  • Meetings:  The booths afford a measure of privacy, so head to that section for business chat or interviews.
  • Free Wi-Fi? Yes. Be sure to ask for the network password.
  • Keep in mind: There's little street parking, but you can park in the garage behind the restaurant.

Deer Creek Coffee, Ladue

  • Ambiance:  reminds me of a ski lodge without the slopes and parkas. Substitute those items with designer purses and computer bags, and you've got the idea.
  • Layout: One large space with tables and a cozy sofa area.
  • Meetings: Since there are no truly private corners or areas, this would not be the place for sessions that require a high degree of privacy. There is a private meeting space available upstairs.
  • Free Wi-Fi? Yes. No password required.
  • Keep in mind: There is a small parking lot in front, and it can be full even when the cafe is not. Owner Rick Williams says patrons can park in the Ladue Pharmacy lot just west of the cafe.

Picasso's Coffee, St. Charles

  • Ambiance: Art gallery. As its name indicates, St. Charles features artwork on its walls. The exhibits change each month and feature local artists. 
  • Layout: Three connected indoor spaces and a patio. 
  • Meetings: Like Kaldi's in Clayton, the close quarters of the seating and tables can make it feel like you are part of one big happy family. 
  • Free Wi-Fi? Yes
  • Keep in mind: It's a testament to this eatery's popularity that it seems to be busy most of the time. Great for business; perhaps not so great for people trying to conduct business.

St. Charles Coffee House, St. Peters

  • Ambience: Log cabin meets city slicker. feels both cozy and spacious. 
  • Layout: A large main space with tables and a sofa area, an even bigger back room and a great deck that seems to stretch for miles.
  • Meetings: Absolutely. The elbow room here means you can have fairly private conversations without your talk overlapping with the chatter at the other tables.
  • Free Wi-Fi? Yes. Be sure to ask for the network password.

Lindsay's Chocolate Cafe and Coffee House, O'Fallon

  • Ambience:  My best friend's welcoming living room and patio., this coffee house makes the virtual worker feel at home and provides a degree of privacy.
  • Layout: Two indoor spaces featuring tables and a living room style set-up with sofa, arm chairs and a coffee table. Lindsay's also has a patio.
  • Free Wi-Fi? Yes. Be sure to ask for the network password.
  • Meetings: There is enough room between the tables to feel you are not on the border of another patron's personal space.

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