Friday, April 13, 2012

The fake Starbucks on Roy Street in Seattle

Like walking into a parallel universe where everything is a little bit off. Roy Street Coffee and Tea is part of Starbuck's attempt to ease in on independent coffee shops by putting together cafe's not labeled as Starbucks that have a pseudo-hip vibe. But there's a problem in that although it doesn't look like Starbucks it doesn't really look or feel like a normal indie coffee shop either, because the decoration feels like someone found some really interesting fixtures, etc... and then a committee discussed it and changed them ever so slightly because on reflection they felt they weren't quite right.  It looks hip-ish, but not quite honest. The staff there are great, this is  no comment on them, but there's a difference between a simple, good, design that people who  put together an independent coffee shop have likely made and an overly planned attempt at replicating that feel. Probably both  because of the knowledge that it's "Inspired by Starbucks" as well as its ambience, the place feels like a Venus Flytrap, a carefully constructed illusion that you expect to snap closed on you once you've taken the bait.

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