I was excited when I first saw the awning for a new coffee shop within bike riding distance from my house. A local bakery had moved down the street to an old church building and The Cup was opening in it's place. I had dreams of a homey decor with the smell of roasted coffee wafting along the block. I imagined myself working remotely from one of the cafe tables while sipping on a mom-n-pop brew. I envisioned giving my hard earned cash back to the local economy in real bohemian style. My fantasies for this little shop were grandiose to say the least.
I watched with baited breath, waiting for the day the brown paper covering the windows and doors would be removed. I watched and I waited. Then I waited some more. I waited a little longer and watched a few more times. Then after several long months, I eventually forgot to watch and missed the actual opening. Damn! I heard about the opening on my twitter feed; how humiliating is that?!
I continued my stake-out, scanning the store for hours of operation and crowds. I wanted to go with the Hubby and needed a time we were both away from work so we could spend a stint getting to know our new local coffee shop. I didn't see much in the way of hours or people though. I didn't think much of either since the place was brand new. Instead, I found a morning the shop was open and the Hubby and I both had a few extra hours. We drove to the shop with excitement in the air. And by excitement, I mean my fast chatter about how cool it was going to be with a coffee shop just down the street. I had heard the shop specialized in Italian espresso, which had recently become a favorite brew (since the Italian book club experience.) I'm not sure I could have said the words "how cool will that be" any more without the Hubby throwing me out of the car in annoyance. It's a good thing it was a short trip.
We finally walked in and the first thing that struck me was the smell, or lack thereof. It did not smell like coffee, brewing or otherwise. Don't get me wrong, it didn't smell bad. It just didn't smell like coffee. The decor was nice, new and upscale; the pictures of different Italian scenery were beautiful. But it wasn't homey by any means. There was no place to "plop down" with a good book and a good cup; at least not without hurting your ass. That was two desires down the drain just by walking in the door.
The staff was nice and everything was prompt. They did miss a cross-sell since I was hungry and eying the breakfast panini sign but they did have soy milk so I let the food thing go as "too new to push anything but coffee" nerves. The shocker came when I sat to wait for my latte. I just happened to sit by their coffee display. CANNED COFFEE people!! Canned coffee I could buy from Central Market. There was nothing mom-n-pop about this place except the size. The Cup specializes in Illy Coffee.
Again, don't get me wrong - it wasn't bad it just wasn't at all what I was expecting. I was hoping for something a little more like Avoca over on the south side. I'm not sure The Cup will grab the local crowd but I'm sure they will pick up those who enjoy shopping the Bricks. As for BrewedB - we will keep trekking to the SouthSide for some truly amazing brews at Avoca.