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Three new-ish cafés where you can get work done in R.I.

Looking for caffeine, air conditioning, and a quiet place to work? These hidden gems are our go-to spots.

The interior of the Rise 'n Shine Coffee Bar, on the first floor of the 1858 Christopher Dodge Carriage House on Holden Street, in Providence's Smith Hill neighborhood.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

This story first appeared in Globe Rhode Island’s Food & Dining newsletter, a free weekly email about Rhode Island’s restaurant industry that also contains information about local events, Q&As with chefs, dining guides, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail each Thursday, you can sign up here.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — This summer is a scorcher, and for those of us who can’t become beach bums slurping a Del’s for three months, solid air conditioning with Wi-Fi and caffeine are necessary to survive a work week.

I’ll admit that I spend a good chunk of my weekly pay on exotic beans and interesting-sounding lattés. But I can’t keep hogging my favorite spots.


If you’re looking for a new coffee shop to get some work done, try one of these cafés.


Less than a month old, Seed Café & Espresso Bar is a solid choice in downtown Pawtucket for something new. It’s a coffee shop located in the Still on Main building, which attracts multiple vendors and appears to be in a sort of transition period. They sell beans and espresso from Borealis Coffee Company, a small batch specialty coffee roaster from Rhode Island’s East Bay, along with tea, fresh egg sandwiches and bagel chips. It’s a tiny spot that looks like a bar, but with soft lounge chairs. Bohemian-style lighting and greenery are dripping from the ceiling, the walls, and basically every shelf space you can imagine — you can even buy a plant — so it’s a go-to for when you need a relaxed but productive environment. 250 Main St., Suite 18, Pawtucket, check for updates on Instagram.

Seed Café & Espresso Bar inside the Still on Main building in downtown Pawtucket, R.I.Alexa Gagosz


Over on Smith Hill in Providence, a historic second-empire style carriage house first constructed in 1858 was restored to its original glory in 2020 by Neal Kaplan. The property was part of Christopher Dodge’s estate, and included a horse and buggy stable on the first floor, a second floor for the bachelor, and a third story that was added sometime during the turn of the century. Kaplan, a longtime Smith Hill resident, opened the Rise ‘N Shine Coffee Bar in the carriage house’s storefront and it’s become a hidden enclave off the beaten path. In 2022, the cafe was recognized by the Providence Preservation Society with a Neighborhood Gem Award. The space also has decor that celebrates cobblers, which honors both the space — which was a cobbler shop in the 1950s — and Kaplan’s great grandfather, who was once a cobbler in New York City. There’s even a two-seat shoe shine stand that is a replica of the one that use to be located in the old Providence train station. 97 Holden St., Providence,


The exterior of Rise 'n Shine Coffee Bar.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff


Located where New Harvest Coffee Roasters used to be in the historic Arcade building in downtown Providence, Coco’s Cafe and Bar is still something of a hidden gem. It’s a newer addition to the Arcade, opened by owner Amanda Gabro, who is serving coffee, matcha from Rishi Tea & Botanicals, doughnuts from Knead, and other homemade treats during the day. They’re open until 7 p.m. daily, and have a bar for cocktails if you’re looking to switch from straight caffeine to an espresso martini. 65 Weybosset St., Providence, check for updates on Instagram.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at Follow her @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.