Stellar Coffee

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Though I have entered Stellar during each of the four seasons, I always associate it with suffocation and heat. The space is confined and the music is unbearably loud and inappropriate for the notions of leisure with which coffee is typically consumed. Strobe lights and pyrotechnics would be more suited to the atmosphere of Stellar than domes of muffins and cupcakes. If you wish to have a seat, it must be on stools perched in a tiny loft hoisted above the espresso machine and under the faux-industrial ventilation armature. Refuge from the smothering interior can be sought in a few plastic chairs on the sidewalk, but the lack of shade and the heavily trafficked street merely completes the assault on the senses.


There is a fair chance that you will never have the opportunity to judge these conditions yourself, however. Stellar is prone to closing without warning and opening without regard to the hours posted on the door. Numerous times cafe tableaux has turned the corner with the intention of taking a coffee — to go — at Stellar, only to discover that they are inexplicably closed. On one occasion, I was able to secure an explanation; upon ordering a round of large coffees, I was informed that, due to the lack of business that afternoon, the cafe was closing early, and, as a result, the coffee warmers had been deactivated and only lukewarm coffee was available.

There is not a lack of beverage options in the area, however; each time I have been shut out, I merely drifted one block to the west where the friendly staff at First Food Market fills their pots with Green Mountain.

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Stellar Coffee

140 S 20th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

soymilk: no extra charge
fair trade: not available

One Response to “Stellar Coffee”

  1. Blake Mons

    Hey, just letting you know that this shit is gone now. They closed and someone is opening up as Amaz Cafe or something else in its place soon. They have a sign up in the window, I’ll check it out and let you know.

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