So, I wrote this post about coffee shops in February. I guess it was mostly about why people like them. Most coffee shop regulars love their shop for the space – the environment and the people who congregate there – not necessarily for the quality of the coffee. Before I started geeking out on coffee, my favorite shops mostly served pretty terrible beverages.
We just renovated our Gainsborough St. shop. It’s a Pavement now. We put in a manual brew bar (with clevers), and switched out the Toscano from Counter Culture for their juicier Rustico as our house espresso.
These changes have facilitated some interesting conversations with customers about coffee, but for the most part those changes haven’t been a big deal for people. It’s the lighting and color scheme and, more than anything else, the seating arrangements that customers are talking about.
There are fewer tables for two, and more communal seating options.
The biggest complaint has been there are fewer seats than before, which is actually just not true. The more organized seating allows for some open areas and pathways, which looks like less seating because it doesn’t take up the entire floorspace of the room anymore. But the bar-style and large shared-table seating does totally change the vibe. In the week we’ve been open, I’ve accidentally joined several conversations with people seated at the same table as me. And since I’m a total jerk who hates talking to people, I feel it’s safe to assume that probably most of the customers here are experiencing this phenomenon even more than I am.
So, you know, if you stop in the Gainsborough store and I’m here, let’s talk about coffee. Or let’s talk about the renovation, or that time you tried to read that Joyce novel, or you’re favorite new band, or your big new client, or Jorge Borges and Kabbalah, or whatever, because this space should be as much about those things as it is about the coffee.
Admittedly, I’ll serve you some pretty delicious coffee too, though.