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The Mobile Office Space February 22, 2006

Posted by Brian Jepson in wireless.

Over at Om Malik’s Blog, Jackson West writes about The New Office Space: “Forget Palo Alto garages — San Francisco coffee shops are where to get your startup off the ground.”, and lists some favorite wireless hangouts that also happen to be independent coffee shops. I’m a big fan of getting out of the office to work in cafes, and I can be found sometimes at Java Madness, Bagelz in Kingston, and the South Kingstown Brewed Awakenings, all of who offer free Wi-Fi. I haven’t found my perfect haunt in downcity Providence, although I do like the Starbucks in the Biltmore, especially since it has free Wi-Fi coming from some unknown place.

In the spirit of Jackson’s post, here are some more details on my mobile office spaces. This is completely biased toward south county, so please add your own in the comments (and when you’re done, head over to one of the hotspot finders and add them if they aren’t already there):

Brewed Awakenings

This resides in the controversial South County Commons (there was a lot of public opposition to this development), and will soon have a Japanese restaurant next door. They have decent coffee, sandwiches, and plenty of sweets. But it’s surrounded by the sprawling shopping center, and lacks the old town or oceanside aesthetic that you find in the other places. Still, I find it the best place for meetings, and it’s spacious and has excellent atmosphere.

Java Madness

Java Madness is usually my favorite. They are directly on Salt Pond Marina, and have an awesome deck and recently expanded their indoor seating. Their hours change with the season, so they close early during the colder months. It can get a little crowded at times, especially when there is live music.


Bagelz is some kind of chain, but the operators seem to have a lot of freedom to personalize their operation. Out of all the coffeehouses, I like Bagelz’ coffee the best (last time I checked, their Kenya AA was coming from Majik), but Java Madness wins by being right on the water.

True Brew Cafe

I’ve only been here a couple of times, but these folks reside in the Sawmill building on Robinson Street and are also right on the bike path. My only gripe is that because they are close to Main Street, a known T-Mobile dead zone, my cellular signal is weak to nonexistent.



1. Andrew Gilmartin - February 22, 2006

Last year there was a sign outside of Old Mountain Lanes that they had wifi. So if you want bowling with your surfing this is the place to be.

2. Michelle - February 22, 2006

Brooklyn Coffee and Tea on Douglas Avenue in Providence is really nice. They have free Wi-fi, a pretty good selection of teas (plus coffee, obviously), and the owner is friendly and low-key. The only drawback is that it closes at 1 pm on weekdays.

3. Jack Templin - February 22, 2006

How about DownCity Providence — anyone have a favorite hotspot there? Thanks! Jack

4. Stephanie - February 23, 2006

Tazza on Westminster downtown has free wireless and despite being a swanky nightspot is a very relaxed place to grab coffee or tea during the day. On the East Side, on Waterman near Thayer St., Ocean Coffee Roasters (also called @Ease) has free wireless – you have to ask for the wep key – and now, strangely enough, now offers Thai food.

5. Mark - February 23, 2006

I believe the free wireless in the Biltmore Starbucks is actually from the Biltmore itself. I also have been led to believe that the Biltmore also mandates that its Starbucks staff be more customer friendly than your average “barista”.

729 Hope St. on the East Side has free wireless and lots of room in the back but they close early.

The Rochambeau Library has WiFi you can access from its benches out front 24-7.

6. Brandon Edens - March 2, 2006

Trinity Brewhouse down the street from the AS220 has free wireless. Its unencrypted and easy to access.

The Oshean Coffee Roasters (@ Ease Cafe) off of Thayer (near the Subway Sandwiches) has free WIFI. You have to ask the people behind the counter for the key:
I’m printing the info here anyway,
essid: “@ Ease Cafe”
key: 801DE892A4
Note that the key is not ASCII but an actual key.

Some places that don’t have wireless but should,
Coffee Exchange on Wickiden
Cable Car Cinema (204 South Main Street)

7. kerri - March 3, 2006

And believe it or not, Chelo’s has free Wi-Fi (although you have to ask for a sekrit code)…I’ve used it at the one in SK and the one in Cranston near Garden City, but I think most of them offer it.

8. Dave Piehler - March 12, 2006

The Brewed Awakenings in Johnston also has free wifi. The spot is nice during the day, but gets full of teens at night and the staff isn’t as friendly as the staff in the South Kingston Brewed.

Any Panera Bread in RI should have free wifi. I’ve spent many workdays using the wifi in the Cranston branch (across the street from Garden City).

I think Cafe Chocolat on North Main in PVD has wifi…

9. GigaOM : » The New Office Space Goes Global - March 24, 2006

[…] Further coffee shop recommendations for: San Francisco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]Seattle [1, 2, 3]New York City [1, 2, 3]Mountain View [1, 2]Palo AltoVancouverLABoulderMinneapolis-St. PaulAnn ArborChicagoBostonProvidenceTampa […]

10. Andrew Gilmartin - April 10, 2006

The Peace Dale Library, , has wireless access. I wonder if it reaches to the park across the road?

11. Andrew Gilmartin - April 10, 2006

The URL (dropped from the comment above) is http://www.skpl.org/

12. radioactive_pete - August 25, 2006

Rhode Island Convention Center has free wifi as well. There is a set of benches outside when the weather is nice. There has to be an event going on and there usually is, but if not, security will kick you out. The free wifi’s in the library won’t allow you to vpn to another network, this one will.

13. pooop - July 2, 2009

im stupid

14. pooop - July 2, 2009

i suk so much im so sad and im a nerd and a geek no 1 likes me and i get wedgies everyday at sckool and im so sadddddd please help me or ill go to rehabbb or somthing like that pleaasseweee help me im so stupisdddddddddddd
no one cares 4 me and D;
my mom called me a dick face and said shut the up!
D; help me
this was all fake 😀

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