Because my current work-in-progress is set partially in Warsaw, I was interested to learn that the first Polish café, as coffee house were called, was in Warsaw, begun be an enterprising courtier in 1724.
Charles II tried to discourage the patrons of coffeehouses, insisting the gathering places were filled with disgruntled citizens who spread rumors about the present monarch, but citizens ignored the warning and flocked there in droves, assuring the owners of a handsome profit.
Women were banned from most coffeehouse in Europe, especially in England and France, but Germany, for the most part, allowed women to join in the pastime.
In London, Jonathan’s Coffee House posted stock and commodity prices, a list that eventually evolved into the London Stock Exchange.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, coffee houses became the preferred gathering place for artists and writers, so with the advent of coffee shops in bookstores, the trend continues.