It’s such an obvious concept, I’m surprised more enterprising businesspeople haven’t thought of it. I’m talking about a laundromat combined with a coffee shop. You’ve got a captive market of folks waiting an hour or more to clean their clothes. Might as well sell them a cuppa and maybe something to nibble on.
But Coin Clean Laundry in the mountain resort town of Jasper, Alberta has taken things a step further. The java in their SnowDome Coffee Bar is so good, you can happily go there with no intention of putting a load in—the quiet hum of all those stainless machines just an interesting backdrop while you’re sipping in a comfy chair.
You know owners Shelley and Sam are serious about their coffee when they’re using a high-end, custom-made Slayer Espresso machine, with its walnut paddles. (Slayers are made in Seattle by a company headed by Jason Prefontaine, whose family owns the Calgary-based Fratello coffee business; no surprise, Fratello beans are used here.) The robust Americanos were so good, I could never stop at one.
SnowDome also bakes some fine fruit muffins and cookies (try the Warden). They do charge for Wifi and to use the in-house computers but, hey, they are dealing with the tourist crowds. If you need to clean your body, too, after a weeklong backpack, there’s coin-operated showers in back.
SnowDome Coffee Bar
607 Patricia Street, Jasper, Alberta
Daily 7:45 am-8 pm
Across the street from SnowDome, Jasper Liquor Store & Wine Cellar seems a misnomer. I mean, sure, owner D.J. Bowen’s got a couple of thousand wine labels on hand. But what hooks me is the 700 kinds of beer in a spacious, refrigerated room. It’s one of the best beer selections I’ve seen in Alberta.
I’m enthralled with so many compelling ales, lagers, IPAs, lambics and stouts that I’m shivering when I emerge. The biggest find is a hopped mead from Water Valley, Alberta’s Fallentimber Meadery, the honey smoothing the hoppier tones and producing a drink that’s delightfully different.
Jasper Liquor Store and Wine Cellar
606 Patricia Street, Jasper, Alberta