Soulmates of businesses: Common Ground Coffee House and Schnitz’s Delicatessen

Soulmates of businesses: Common Ground Coffee House and Schnitz's Delicatessen

They say that people meet their soulmate at the most unexpected of times.

The sun shining on Fulton Street had begun to hide behind some large clouds, and a rippling wind tickled at the exposed brick buildings to my left. I decided that of all the places to stumble upon a match made in heaven, this one was the most unlikely.

I should’ve saved my judgment, though, as I most definitely spoke too soon.

I followed the rickety sidewalk to a warm-looking door. Rods of wood framed a foggy glass piece, upon which a sign hung; it boasted of the cafe’s long hours and money-saving student discount.

I looked up at the vintage name tag: Common Ground Coffee House. Next to it, another business was nestled cozily into the building, and a wave of people flowed in and out of the doors. Schnitz’s Delicatessen shone with colors; its bright popping seemed to perfectly complement the dark hues of Common Ground.

Looking back and forth between the two doors, I finally decided on the gate to the Coffee House. In retrospect, I could have chosen either, as there was a door inside the building that connected the two businesses.

Since I was already on the “dark side” of the complex, I decided to stick around and explore before I moved on to the delicatessen land across the doorframe. Common Ground seemed to offer a palette of browns and reds; the floors were laid out to look like a brick road, and almost all the furniture was painted burgundy.

Many people spend their entire lives searching for a so-called “soulmate,” but it looks like Common Ground Coffee House and Schnitz’s Delicatessen had already found each other.”

As I browsed the menu, I was impressed by the variety of choices as well as the reasonable prices. They had everything from Morning Glory muffins to tuna salad to paninis– and that was just the food! Drinks ranged from French sodas to different types of hot chocolate to flavored lattes to classic coffee blends.

It was hard to make a choice, but I finally settled on hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin. Looking for a table, I entered a little side room; the adjoining space was decorated to be everyone’s definition of “cozy.”

There was a pinball table- reminiscent of an arcade- as well as a selection of books and lamps. I picked a seat near the window, and I was pleased to see potted plants that further added to the atmosphere. I knew, right then, that this was the perfect place to study; I made a mental note to come back when I needed somewhere quiet to do homework.

My order was delivered to my table by one of the baristas, and I thanked her graciously. The hot chocolate was delectable, and the blueberry muffin was crispy at all the ridge edges while still maintaining a soft center.

After I finished eating, I decided to explore Schnitz’s Delicatessen on the other side of the wall. Stepping from the quietness of Common Ground into the excitement of the deli was akin to unveiling a treasure; everyone seemed to be hustling and bustling around, chatting with their fellow deli-goers and grabbing needed condiments.

A friendly woman behind the counter greeted me with a big “How ya doina��, honey?” and an even bigger smile. I instantly grinned back, and I felt as if the whole store gave me a warm hug.

The rainbow of colors found in the deli didn’t even compare to the spectrum of conversations flying through the air.

Whereas Common Ground had been the perfect environment to study because of its quiet music and peacefulness, Schnitz’s Delicatessen was the master of multitasking. Countless orders of sandwiches were being processed at once, and it seemed as if panini after panini came out of the kitchen at a rate faster than I could imagine. One second, it would be a BLT, the next, a Reuben.

I finally made my way around the bend of the counter to actually study the menu. There were a million types of sandwiches, and each sandwich had its own range of varieties that it came in.

After reading the menu top to bottom and bottom to top, I chose a traditional BLT. This would prove to be an excellent choice; then again, there was no way one could go wrong with a menu this comprehensive.

Many people spend their entire lives searching for a so-called “soulmate,” but it looks like Common Ground Coffee House and Schnitz’s Delicatessen had already found each other.

One could order a sandwich in Schnitz’s and have it delivered across the wall to their study nook in Common Ground; likewise, the Delicatessen welcomed a nice brew from the Coffee House as well.

Between the two businesses, people could satisfy both their sweet tooth and savory side. The convenience of one room to the other only amplified the effect of each one; truly, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Together, Common Ground Coffee House and Schnitz’s Delicatessen were two peas in a pod: they made the complete Yin-Yang, the perfect couple, the Dynamic Duo.