The Jewel Box is not your average coffee shop. For one thing, it took me three baristas before I found the one who knew what brand their coffee was (they serve Zoka's coffee). For another, it smells fantastically of crepes and panini in here. They also have an extensive bubble tea menu (ew), and specially blend their chocolate for cocoa and mochas.
These things aside, the three winning features are: 1.) It's in Northgate. Somebody, please, correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't coffee in Northgate. 2.) The decor is, as my roommate said along the way to cheering me up, "Like being in Beauty and the Beast." I see her point. All dark wood, chandeliers, and deep reds. (Kind of like the inside of a jewelry box. Imagine that.) And finally, 3.) A great assortment of mugs. I confess to considering putting this one in my backpack to take home. But I won't.
If you're in the Northgate area, then I say this one is worth a visit. Not to be unclear: it is definitely a cafe and not a coffee house, so don't show up expecting a cupping... for that matter, don't show up expecting your barista to know who their coffee supplier is. But order a mocha or something that includes (rather than features) coffee, and you're set. It's directly across from the theater, and open until 9:00, so perfect for pre-movie coffee or dinner, but there is ample room for study, and a reasonably good selection of music as well. And the tables seem pretty stable, so it's unlikely your beverage will end up included in your presentation.
Good study. Marginal coffee. Fun atmosphere. Certainly cornered the market on location.