Archive for the ‘Coffee Shops’ Category

DuPont Starbucks: Tim Gunn Couldn’t Have Done a Better Makeover

February 19, 2013

Stealing from Barbra Streisand’s Oscar acceptance speech…”Hello Gorgeous!” The newly renovated Connecticut Avenue Starbucks is worth every penny spent on its renovation. Now a two-story coffee shop, it’s cheery, light and airy.

The first floor offers several seating areas and best of all, you’re no longer sitting on top of one another. The first floor also has two large, clean restrooms with changing tables.starbucks-stairs-dupont-e1342110520892

Adventure upstairs and you are in for a treat. There are couches, tables, tables and chairs and plenty of outlets for laptops. Unlike the second floor at the Georgetown Starbucks (M Street NW, near Wisconsin), whose top floor feels like an afterthought, the DuPont Starbucks doesn’t need to provide customers with flashlights so they can see where they are going. It’s actually bright… like stepping into your own living room. It’s wonderful! One can only hope the Georgetown manager will take a page out of this Starbucks’ playbook and do some sprucing up.

Oh, yes, they still sell coffee.

Starbucks, 1501 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Starbucks: Changes in Penn Quarter

April 29, 2010

Something really great has happened at several Starbucks in DC’s Penn Quarter. They’ve been refurbished and the winner is the consumer.

457 7th St NW. This Starbucks now has fewer couches and smaller tables. They’ve been replaced by family-style tables and long counter-tops and stools made from dark wood. The counters face out onto  the street. The refurbishing makes it possible for more people to have a seat and linger over a cup of coffee.

What hasn’t changed is the service and the restrooms. The baristas are the slowest of any Starbucks I’ve encountered. The people are very nice, but they just don’t seem to have their act together when it comes to taking orders and serving coffee.

No revamping of the restrooms. They work and sometimes that’s the most important thing.

800 7th St NW.  This two-level Starbucks has replaced its couches and many smaller tables with large, family-style tables for sharing and long countertops and stools, all made from dark wood. The number of outlets along the walls near the counters makes it easier than ever to hook up to the Internet without exhausting one’s batteries.

This particular Starbucks seems to be home to a lot of writers, students and tourists. The larger tables enable more folk to have a seat while enjoying their lattes.  Although the line of tourists can be frightening, the visitors usually grab their coffee and leave. The staff is also terrific–they are jovial and quick.

What separates this Starbucks from the pack? Three restrooms—a unisex restroom on the first floor and individual men’s and women’s restrooms on the second level. This particular women’s room is gigantic, well-lit and stocked and even has the xcelerator hand-dryer.

Sometimes change is good.

Cosi:McPherson Square Friend—Cafe

March 25, 2010

Open the door to the  Cosi  near 14th and H Street NW,  and you’re in for a small shock. This particular Cosi is housed on two levels and boy, is it busy.  The second level is great if you want to get away from the hustle-bustle of the main level, read a book, work on your laptop, prep for an interview, or as I observed on my noon-time arrival, have a working business lunch.

Cosi’s food is freshly made and extremely tasty. Soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza—Cosi has it all. The salads are not terribly cheap, but they are so worth it. Sandwiches are delicious—made with some of the best bread in town.  Or, of course, you can just purchase a great cup of coffee.

Not so good? The restrooms. You are given a key and told to go downstairs. The whole area is very creepy and I was so freaked out I’m not even sure if the door to the restroom locked. You actually need the key to open the door leading back to the main floor. Advice? Skip the restroom and use the Starbucks’ restroom in the Starbucks down the street.

1333 H St NW  Washington, DC 20005

Barnes&Noble: A Best Friend—Books/Restroom

March 4, 2010

Barnes & Noble has it all and the books are just the least of it.

I frequent two Barnes & Nobles–the store on 12th and  E Street NW and the one in Georgetown. I often use them for their restrooms before hopping on the bus or subway. When it’s cold out, before heading for my bus, I usually grab a cup of coffee to go. Both are also great places to kill time before heading to the E Street movies or the AMC theaters in Georgetown.

Let’s start with their restrooms. They are clean, albeit small, and well-stocked and they have changing stations for children.

Now move on to the snack/WiFi areas. WiFi is free and beverages are from Starbucks. Both Barnes & Nobles in question have ample seating, although the setup is different in each. In Georgetown there is bar-like seating facing the windows with room to set up a laptop directly in front of you or read a magazine. There are many tables for two or four people. The 12th Street store’s eating/reading area is smaller, but somehow it feels larger. There are plenty of tables.  Both stores seemingly let you stay there forever…doing homework, reading or just relaxing.

Feel smarter…peruse the books and magazines…use the restroom…kick back with a beverage. Barnes & Noble has it all. I love them.

555 12th Street NW, Washington, DC  202.347.0176

3040 M Street NW, Washington, DC  202.965.9880

Starbucks: A Friend at 22nd and M—Restroom

January 8, 2010

“Wow!” That’s what I said to myself as I opened the door to the restroom and turned on the light. Considering how small this Starbucks was, I was really shocked by the size of the restroom. Spacious, clean, changing table, and an actual countertop to place my purse. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. And you don’t have to ask the barista for a key. Oh,  the coffee is pretty good, too.

Starbucks at 22nd and M Street NW

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