Point/Counterpoint: Is Common Ground better than The Brew?

Debating which campus coffee shop is the perfect blend

Whether you go to Common Ground or The Brew, expect great food and service.


Call me traditional, but Common Ground (CoGro) takes the cake—literally. One of the reasons I love it so much is its cake selection, which ranges from Strawberry Chocolate Mousse to Super Caramel Crunch.

After a long day at school or a workout at the gym, CoGro is always there. It’s convenient that it’s open until 10:00: p.m. all week and on weekends, because I don’t become a functioning human being until at least 5:00 p.m.

Since The Brew closes at 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and is closed on weekends, there’s less of a chance I’ll end up there.   

CoGro’s ambience is also unbeatable. You can go there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (sometimes all in one day) and almost always run into a friend because it’s so packed with people.

The coffee shop has it all. Amazing playlists (sometimes live music), a huge selection of coffees and treats, smoothies, tons of seating (including an abundance of couches), and long hours of operation. 

CoGro was the first study spot I found at Queen’s and I’ve been loyal to it ever since. Now they even take Flex dollars, something a first-year me would have endlessly appreciated.

Above all, CoGro is special to me because of all the memories I’ve made there. I’m sure I’m not alone in reminiscing about early morning pre-exam study sessions and late-night cake dates with friends.

Common Ground has been a staple of my undergraduate career, and that’s why it’ll always be my go-to for all my study, coffee, and hangout needs.

Emily Elliott, Contributor 



It’s true that the Brew and Common Ground (CoGro) serve the same coffee and bagels, and yes, the pro-CoGro camp might mention cake and expect instant surrender. But relying on these arguments is a gross oversimplification of The Brew’s benefits.

You’re pro-Brew if you believe, like any student ought to, that coffee shops are about more than their menu. On-campus coffee shops are about getting you where you need to go, not holding you captive in the longest line known to mankind. If you believe in this, you believe in The Brew.

Imagine a morning when your alarm goes off late and you have less than half an hour to hand in a paper you forgot to print. Then you snap at your housemate for saying good morning to you, as if it’s some sort of personal attack.

You know what won’t make that morning better? A really long line at CoGro.

If you roll up to The Brew a hot eight minutes before your 9:30 a.m. lecture in Kingston Hall, you still have a fighting chance of making it on time. In my opinion, this is everything.

This is where The Brew wins. The Brew is smaller-scale than CoGro, with admittedly less seating, but what grows out of that is a shorter wait time. The Brew doesn’t make a spectacle of itself. It lets you be the star of the show when you manage to slide into your morning class with a coffee in hand.

I’ll concede that CoGro might be there for you on your best day, when you want to laugh with your friends over a piece of cake at one of the many tables. But on one of those days, you could probably be happy anywhere.

The Brew is there for you on your worst day, and that’s what matters.

Elisa Hoard, Contributor

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