Food for thought: Montevallos one-stop coffee shop has it all

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Eclipse Coffee and Books in Montevallo has it all, from muffins in the morning to martinis at night.

The one stop bookstore, coffee shop, restaurant and bar on Main Street is the city&8217;s all-in-one hangout. Families, college students and everyone in between gravitate to the eclectic business, owned by University of Montevallo professor of philosophy Michael Patton and his wife Cheryl.

Eclipse opened its doors about five years ago, and manager Kelly Coughlan has been with the restaurant for three years now. &8220;The employees have some input into the restaurant, that&8217;s the best thing about working here,&8221; she said.

Often employees will dream up new menu items during slower hours, and even make customers&8217; special requests.

Eclipse brings in entertainment most evenings, and will host local bands, trivia on Thursdays, karaoke on Saturdays and wine tastings held at least once a month.

Though the coffee shop entertainment typically attracts a college-age or older crowd, this isn&8217;t true of Eclipse during the daytime hours.

&8220;It&8217;s a totally different crowd in the morning and around lunch. There are more families,&8221; said Kimberly Voss, a senior at the University of Montevallo who&8217;s worked at Eclipse for four years.


Many patrons sit at tables outside of Eclipse on the wraparound front porch. Inside, the bookshop takes up the front two rooms and beyond the house opens up to a restaurant with a laid-back, folksy feeling. Bluegrass and mellow tunes play while customers lounge at mismatched tables and chairs or on an old couch.

Employees drink coffee and mingle with guests, all with very non-rushed attitudes. Eclipse is very comfortable, like a well-loved and often used family room.


The menu at Eclipse is bigger than one might expect from a local coffee shop turned restaurant. The menu features everything from sandwiches, salads, appetizers, quesadillas, wraps, all-day breakfast, milkshakes, coffee and breads like muffins and bagels. The Combination is popular with customers, and comes with two choices of a half a sandwich, cup of soup or a small salad. The Eclipse signature sandwiches come with unique combinations of sprouts, provolone, roasted red peppers and Creole mustard. Those sandwiches range from $4.50 to $5 dollars and are served with pretzels and sweet pickles. The vegan black bean salad is a must-try with The Combination.

Quesadillas are another popular choice and Voss&8217;s favorite, but only offered after 2 p.m.

Milkshakes and coffee drinks are among the many dessert options, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to decide. There are 13 milkshakes, 13 coffee drinks and 19 flavor shots.


Don&8217;t expect full sit-down restaurant service. Patrons order up front, get their own drinks and later their food is brought out. The staff is nonchalant, friendly and chatty with customers. And though orders are usually prompt, mistakes will be made and appetizers occasionally forgotten, so a friendly reminder could be needed from time to time.

Whatever faults one may find at Eclipse, the community interest and local charm make up for it in leaps and bounds.


1032 Main Street

Montevallo, AL 35115

Phone: 665-4234

Hours: Monday – Wednesday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Thursday to Friday 7 a.m. midnight

Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Sunday closed