Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sending Out An S.O.S.

With a couple of hours between appointments and an impending thunderstorm looming on the horizon, I didn't have anywhere to go and I didn't want to go home.

I think this is turning out to be one of my "dark secrets." You know, I'm in the specialty coffee biz, I don't pay attention to what Starbucks is doing because it's almost never applicable to The Spro, but yet whenever I find myself in a pinch, I seem to find myself at a Starbucks, Caribou or similar national coffeehouse chain - and I never drink the coffee.

Why do I find myself here - at the Mount Washington Starbucks? I think I'm here because I need a place of refuge for a couple of hours. A place where I can quietly sip a large iced tea and write the latest chapters of the Spro Coffee Handbook without being disturbed or feeling like I have to give up my seat and leave.

Unlike many independent coffeehouses, Starbucks (and their ilk) offers clean, roomy and, most importantly, strongly air conditioned environments that are actually comfortable to make yourself home in - a trait I fear is lacking in many indie shops. In the sweltering heat of Baltimore summer with rising humidity and falling barometric pressure from the thunderstorm, I want a place I can hide out in that's cold and comfy.

We need more indie places that have strong air conditioning and comfy seating that don't look like eclectic remnant flophouses.