If you enjoy reading, surfing the web or chatting with friends over a cup of hot coffee or tea in an authentic coffee shop, you will find some good ones near McLean.  If you also enjoy your coffee while sitting in the shade of a riverside oak tree while geese and kayakers drift by, you definitely need to visit Floyd & Blackie’s Coffee and Ice Cream on the banks of the South Fork Catawba River.

Hand-crafted drinks and much more

counterThe coffee shop is less than 15 minutes from McLean in downtown Cramerton, two doors down from the Goat Island Greenway and Park.

Owners Greg and Kathy Ramsey converted a former doctor’s office into the comfortable coffee and ice cream shop. They mix all the coffee drinks by hand, Greg says, and you can choose from 24 flavors of Hershey’s Ice Cream. Come for breakfast or lunch, too. They offer several pastries and breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Sip indoors and out

You’ll find the decor pleasant and comfortable, with stuffed chairs, couches and even a big table with huge checkerboard ready for players, plus lots of historic Cramerton photos and coffee-flavored humor, like the sign that reads, “Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitchen.”

If you prefer to sip outside, there’s a big patio on one side of the building, a second patio under construction near the street, and, of course, the shady lawn by the river.

Local flavor is authentic

womenThe old photos are authentic Cramerton, as is the coffee shop’s namesakes and owners. Kathy and Greg are the grandchildren, respectively, of Floyd and Blackie. J.B. “Blackie” Blackwell, Greg’s grandfather, was a star pitcher on the 1930s Cramer Mills baseball team. His good friend Floyd Barnhill, Kathy’s grandfather, was Cramerton’s ice deliveryman.

Kayak with that coffee?

Back to the river, we mentioned that the coffee shop is just two doors from the Goat Island Greenway and Park. A new bridge carries the greenway over to the park, which is, of course, located in the middle of the South Fork Catawba River.

bridgeMany people come to canoe and kayak this gentle river. You can rent one-person kayaks and 2-person canoes for just $20 a day from Floating Goat Canoe and Kayak Rentals – also owned by Greg and Kathy and operated out of the coffee shop.

If you like easy paddling, this stretch of the South Fork is ideal. The navigable area stretches from the base of the dam in nearby McAdenville to the spillover at Upper Armstrong Road. The river has a fair amount of shade, too.

Greg says that most people go out for half a day, but if you want to spend all day, that’s fine, too. He says some customers get coffee and breakfast, paddle for a while, come back for lunch and go out again.

Details for Floyd & Blackie’s Coffee Shop

  • Address: 137 Eighth Ave., Cramerton, NC 28032 (next to Cramerton Drug and 2 doors down from the Cramerton fire station).  DIRECTIONS
  • Hours: 6 am-9 pm weekdays, 7 am-9 pm Saturdays, 1-6 pm Sundays.
  • Phone: 704-879-9100
  • Web: floydandblackies.com
  • Facebook: Facebook.com/FloydandBlackies
  • Kayak and canoe rentals. Come to the rental office at the coffee shop. They have 9 one-person kayaks and 3 two-person canoes. Cost is $20 for the day per boat. Call 704-734-8599 for details and reservations.