The Sherman Café in Somerville's Union Square is just what an urban café should be. Laid back, good drinks, tasty food, helpful service and a low-key vibe that hides its hipness just under the surface. It’s a small space, but not nano, a tight rectangle or snug box.
On the gray Saturday I visited there was enough electricity coursing through the cafe to give it a pulse. Wifi comes with a fee, and that means half the customers are reading actual books!
Unlike Bloc 11, which I stopped into first, the Sherman is not a weekend flashmob.
Instead of gaggles of college students, mad programmers, dates, etc. downing salads and paninis, The Sherman has room to breathe.
The mood goes from romantic, peaceful to a perfect place to create. If I was to file one gripe, it’s the so-called art. Poster canvases, found at any suburban Bed & Bath & Beyond, lined the walls. But if the art’s too good, a café becomes a gallery. I wouldn’t touch a thing.
Amid the slate colored interior and scuffed floors there’s a quiet energy that’s one part Macdowell Colony and one part Lower East Side hang. Not too ying or yang. Balanced. You could work on a white sheet or a screenplay here.
Customers strike up pleasant (read quiet) conversations. No one looks at you askance when you walk in. The Sherman is the place to hang for an hour and feel recharged. Reminds me of a café I used to frequent in London in the ’90s.
The music is another attribute. It’s just noticeable enough to warrant a head nod. Yo La Tango’s syrupy loops is the perfect dreamy soundtrack of this vegan café that does a mean mate latte.
Drink of choice: mate latte (bitter, frothy, earthy, warm)
Ambiance: High ceilings, scuffed pine floors, big windows with a work bar, soothing ambient slate blue walls. Great hidden corners.
Music: Yo La Tango, “It’s not enough.”
Wifi: $4.95 an hour, $7.95 a day