The New FlameDesigned in neu­tral col­ors, unlike most dark and dingy cafés, Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fees has attracted the real cof­fee lovers

By Aar­zoo Naeem Chaudhry

Lahore’s love affair with cafés seems to be get­ting deeper. Every other day cafés are pop­ping up in the city. The hip and hap­pen­ing crowd of Lahore is not only inter­ested in cof­fee, they’re look­ing for a cozy, casual place to hang out with friends on week­ends. Not all cafés in Lahore are worth men­tion­ing, how­ever, amongst the mush­room growth of these cafés Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee has risen above the rest.

Sit­u­ated right next to the famous Cof­fee Tea and Com­pany, Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee has man­aged to attract a large crowd from the very day it opened its doors to Lahore. The wor­thy expe­ri­ence begins the moment you step inside Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee as the strong essence of cof­fee beans greets you.

Back­ground music, peo­ple chit chat­ting com­bined with the smell and sound of fresh cof­fee beans being grounded defines Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee. The whole place is designed in neu­tral tones, whether it is the wooden floor­ing, fur­ni­ture, paint or even the lamps. Tones of brown dom­i­nate the area giv­ing the café a casual and warm aura as cafés are meant to be places where you can relax, read a book or just catch up with friends. The light choco­late brown walls matched with the black­board menus on them com­plete the café look. Sit­ting on the beige and brown sofas look­ing out­side the win­dow makes it the per­fect nestling spot. A lot of sun­shine pours in through the French-inspired win­dows adding to the friend­li­ness of the place, unlike most dark, mys­te­ri­ous caves — ‘shee­sha cafés’ that have sprouted across the city.

The New Flame There’s a huge counter in front of the entrance where you place your order and behind it there’s an array of cof­fee mix­ing machines, cof­fee beans etc. My favorite area is the right cor­ner of the counter where they keep the essen­tials for the cof­fee like straws, sugar, spoons and of course jars of choco­late, orange sprin­kles, honey, cin­na­mon pow­der that you can sprin­kle gen­er­ously. The café’s help-yourself atti­tude gives a casual and almost relaxed feel. Unlike, most of the cafés in Lahore, Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee is spa­cious and has the capac­ity to com­fort­ably seat 50 – 60 peo­ple at one time, which is a bless­ing if you want to get away from crowded spaces.

I sim­ply adore the two 7 feet tall lamps with beige umbrella shades as they add to the sim­ple yet whole­some feel; Cof­fee beans stored in tra­di­tional jars along­side the fla­vors used in the cof­fee adds more inter­est­ing detail to Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee. Kept in square shaped shelves on the wall almost make you feel like

The New Flame

you’re brows­ing through a cof­fee shop museum. I love being in out­door spaces where one can just relax, enjoy the fresh air, sip some cof­fee, and gos­sip with friends. Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee pro­vides the per­fect out­door expe­ri­ence, which is again a rar­ity in Lahore con­sid­er­ing the small spaces and grow­ing num­ber of take­aways. Glo­ria Jean’s Cof­fee is con­sid­ered a casual cof­fee shop around the world and not a hot­shot place to hang out for the hip teenagers and chic aun­ties.

Nev­er­the­less, all is good as long as it’s serv­ing its pur­pose of enter­tain­ment and giv­ing the Laho­ris some peace of mind at the same time.

This arti­cle was orig­i­nally pub­lished in the print edi­tion of Val­uemag, issue 1, May 2008.

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A New Flame, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 rat­ings