Brews News

Nervous Dog Coffee Bar

Akron & Stow

Chad W. Lutz
My first experiences at the Nervous Dog take me back to my college days. While it’s hard for me to admit that in May it will be 5 years since I walked across the stage to accept my degree, it’s now here in Times New Roman for the entire world to read, enjoy. I used to see a doctor out in the West Akron area and would frequently drive past the coffee shop on my way to appointments. After awhile, I decided to stop in and grab a cup of coffee, if only for the experience.

Back then, around 2008, my hair stretched down past my shoulders and my sideburns would have made Elvis blush. I used to wear the same blue and red flannel shirt every single day over top some ratty band t-shirt, like Jimi Hendrix or The Beatles. I was in a love/hate relationship with coffee. I now wholly accept the fact that I’m helplessly addicted to the substance, but back then, I tried to convince myself I was only made for tea and water, and anything else was superfluous and unnecessary. I used to pop into Nervous Dog after my appointments, let my sessions sink in with a piping hot green tea, and sort of melt into the furniture. Sometimes I would get the tea to-go and drive around the Cuyahoga Valley National Park while enjoying the beverage, but I remember the service was always quick, the baristas always friendly, and the drinks consistently delicious.

Fast-forward almost 5 years to the present. Nervous Dog is where I spend my Saturday nights and Sunday mornings in front of a keyboard with a fresh mug, or refill, of the daily special blend. As a regular customer, I’m sure my opinion of the place is no doubt skewed, but I think first-timers will agree Nervous Dog offers an enjoyable coffeehouse experience. Probably the most convenient feature of Nervous Dog cafes is the hours. Instead of closing early on weekends, Nervous Dog holds late hours, perfect for hopeless workaholics and night owls. The Stow location contains a side room guests may reserve for parties and meetings and both locations include bar long bars made from richly stained wood and stool seating to compliment. Local artists regularly hang work along the walls for viewing and purchase and often hold official showings.

Nervous Dog operates as a completely locally owned establishment and garners large crowds and popular acclaim. Arrive anytime to find jovial workers serving delicious coffee supplied by local growers and roasters. Unlike most other coffee shops, Nervous Dog actually has comfortable seating. People spend hours sitting in one place working or just idly chitchatting with old friends and possible flames.

During one of my more recent visits, I talked with a local proprietor who books artists for show at Nervous Dog. About once a month the coffee shop holds showings and then leaves several select pieces on display. Nervous Dog also hosts live, local music every Saturday and occasionally on weekdays. But you won’t just run into stereotypical acoustic sap. Artists featured play just about every genre, from Super Mario 8-bit to contemporary Indie rock and everything else in between.

The Nervous Dog Empire once consisted of a single location off Market St. in the Highland Square neighborhood. In 2011, Nervous Dog branched out to neighboring Stow and began renting a new storefront, which includes a drive-thru and sits a stone’s throw from Rt. 8, which provides instant access off the highway.

As for the coffee, Nervous Dog custom roasts their beans twice per week. They also offer several coffee-related creations, like lattes, mochas, frappuccinos and cappuccinos, and macchiatos. Nervous Dog also hand makes an assortment of sandwiches. Try the Jive Turkey or Yardbird. Both are delicious.

Nervous Dog Coffee Bar
1530 W. Market St. Akron, Ohio/4161 Steels Pointe Rd. Stow, Ohio
(330) 864-BEAN/ (330) 929-BEAN
Mon-Thur: 6:30am - 10:00pm Friday: 6:30am - 11:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Sunday: 8:00am - 8:00pm
Prices: $0.75 to $7.00