Nestled in the corner of the Seattle Academy Arts Center, a small café acts as a haven for students, Capitol Hill residents, and workers alike. Appropriately dubbed “The Chatterbox,” the café gives people an environment to relax or chat as they sip on a refreshing bubble tea or chow down on rice with peanut sauce. According to owner Joanne Shea, the Chatterbox has been open for over 13 years now, making it an important part of the SAAS and neighborhood communities.
The Chatterbox is a family-run business and many regulars have had the pleasure of watching the Shea’s children grow up. However, this gratitude for watching growth take place goes both ways. “[Seattle Academy] has grown so much," Shea says. "There has been great improvement and advancement in both classes and teaching methods to the students. The Stream building is also a good example of SAAS has grown.” Shea loves owning the small business in such a busy location because she has the pleasure of serving many regulars each day.
The Chatterbox Café offers a variety of Asian cuisine as well as coffee drinks and other miscellaneous food items. Shea attributes the menu’s diversity to catering to her customers’ requests. However, this doesn’t hold true for the bubble tea menu, which Shea says is truly their main specialty at the Chatterbox, a statement many students agreed with when questioned about the Chatterbox.
SAAS senior Elle Jennings has been going to the Chatterbox since middle school and orders a bubble tea once or twice each week. Almost every Seattle Academy student we spoke to said that they regularly go to the Chatterbox.
However, we were surprised to find that each student’s usual order was different. “I typically get rice with soy sauce when I go to the Chatterbox,” says Brenna McCormick ’19. “It’s great when I have to grab a quick lunch.” Owen Colwell ’19 says he typically enjoys rice with teriyaki sauce and a bubble tea while Tate Gibbons ’19 says he usually gets ramen and a Gatorade, and both equally enjoy the Chatterbox.
When asked about the Chatterbox, students mentioned the service, menu, and atmosphere as the main reasons they enjoy the Chatterbox so much.