In his book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg writes about the importance of the "third place." While most of us divide our time between home and work (places one and two, respectively), Oldenburg argues that third places help build communities, strengthen creative engagement, and engender a sense of belonging among their frequenters.
The third place is very important to me. For whatever reason, I am closely tied to physical locations and I have difficulty feeling at "home" in a new city or community without being comfortable in all three of my places. While I love my job and have made a hobby out of turning my little apartment into a sanctuary-home, I am still waiting for that third place to really tie me to Omaha. In fact, I am surprised by how hard it has been to find coffee houses, bookstores, or restaurants that satisfy that mysterious spiritual X-factor within me. It's a constant search, and being new to the area, I'm not even sure where to look.
As soon as I heard about Daily Grub, a farm-to-table restaurant and cafe that just opened in my neighborhood, I knew that it might be a long-awaited third place. Open for lunch during the week and brunch on weekends, Daily Grub boasts a wide variety of vegetarian fare and they give you a discount if you arrive via bicycle! Today was one of those rare Saturdays where I woke up early and didn't have a sermon to finish, so I headed down to 20th and Pierce to check out my new neighbor.
I was immediately taken by the atmosphere of the little corner eatery. Lots of light, natural wood, and clean design made for an inviting place to spend the morning. The waffle iron was broken so I ordered one of the specials, which consisted of stewed beans, avocado, crema potatoes, blue corn tortillas, with ranchero sauce on the side. It was delicious. What's more, the people there were all incredibly nice. Both of the folks behind the counter were gracious and friendly and helped contribute to the relaxed vibe of the room, and I ended up having a nice conversation with the people seated next to me (side note: I also ran into my favorite Omaha blogger, Princess Lasertron, enjoying a nice Saturday brunch a few tables down. I even introduced myself to her...because I have no shame).
All in all, it was a great breakfast at a great restaurant. I wish Daily Grub all the best and I will continue coming back in hopes of building the third place vibe.
(I was too shy to take pictures while I was there, but you can check out their facebook page for some great shots.)