Where We Write: Death Valley’s Little Brother

Photography by Mary Ferguson

What : Whiskey and Espresso Bar
When: 8-11 weekdays, 9-11 Saturday
Where: Uptown Waterloo

I’m not somebody who can write in public. I need silence, I need darkness, I need a baker’s dozen of mountain dew. Other people seem to be able to operate under less dire conditions. In an effort to understand these writers, I have undertaken a momentous task: to work in and review different cafes in Kitchener-Waterloo that cater to us writerly types.

It hasn’t been easy. Firstly, I had to leave the house, which was more than I thought I could handle. Secondly, I had to overcome going off campus for something. These things took much meditation.
I decided to start small. I explored Uptown Waterloo and found a few places I really liked, and hunkered down.

Death Valley’s Little Brother is new to Waterloo, blessed with a great location and multiple positive reviews on Yelp. It seemed most promising to my change-reluctant writer-in-residence.

With an open concept design and an old-wood feel, DVLB is a great place to nest for a few hours and chop away at some writing. They serve not only espresso, but loose-leaf tea for those so inclined, and whiskey for anyone looking to go the Hemingway route.

When I was there, the music was unobtrusive but well picked, no radio ads to be heard. The Decemberists kept me calm as I unpacked my laptop and discovered the free wifi. I was able to work privately but comfortably for nearly two hours before my hermitesque tendencies overtook me and I had to return home.

For those looking to make the trek off campus, this is a great first step. Close to Laurier, DVLB is located on King St, just before Bridgeport. With a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, delicious snacks and a drinks menu to boggle the mind, DVLB is somewhere I know I’ll keep coming back to.