Sunday 9 March 2008

Another One!

Ok, I know I said I was going to stop playing this silly game, but for some reason I can't stop myself. (That sounds terribly worrying!)

I took the kids on a short train ride this weekend into Blackrock. On of the first things I noticed when coming out of the station was a new Starbucks. I couldn't resist it. I had to check it out. (Like it was going to be any different than any other Starbucks?)

The store is located in a former Post Office which makes it the biggest Starbucks I've been into in Ireland - a bit more space than usual. As far as views from a coffeehouse go, there is a great view from the deck out the back which looks out across Dublin Bay. (Before that sounds too ideal check out this photo of Ireland's biggest eye sore right on the Bay). Unfortunately the queue was pretty long and very slow, but I'd committed myself - I have this silly game, don't I?

The site must have cost them a fortune and I'm sure it will take years to turn a profit even at Starbucks prices. But, and I've said this before, the alleged tactics of Starbucks is to open a store in a coffee dense area with the goal of eventually drowning out the competition. Such is the cut throat world of commerce and a reason that I struggle with going to Starbucks in the first place. Like I said, I can't help myself. (Oh man, I really do have a problem.)

On the way back to the station I passed a local independent cafe. It had a sign on the wall showing it was for sale. Must be a coincidence...right?


jsi said...

A long, slow line for a disgusting cup of coffee - not my idea of fun at all.

An extended, unhurried queue for a smooth and delightful "London Fog Earl Grey Tea Misto, non-fat, no water, sugar free vanilla, extra foam, leave the bag in" - well worth any amount of time required.

So are you saying there are now 5 StarBucks? What an horrible view from the porch - it can't smell terrific.

Cosmo said...

I think the drink that you might be describing is basicaly a mug of River Liffey.

I think there are now 17 Starbucks in Ireland (Republic - more in NI). I've managed to get to about a dozen, but now they are stretching across the country and I'm not that dedicated to the cause!

Ali said...

I am heading to the land of Starbuck this weekend. Having said that, I believe in Stowe, Vermont they have legislation or something that doesn't allow the major chains to set up business in the town, to help it keep its old charm.

Good for them I say!

Mind you, I'm sure I'll find more than one Starbuck in Boston. I wonder will they dye their coffee green on St Patricks Day :-)

Ali said...

An interesting footnote, from 'Notes from a Big Country' by Bill Bryson:

Starbucks started quietly in Seattle, and already in many cities if you are looking for a coffee bar, the choice is pretty much Starbucks or nothing.

Now there is nothing wrong with Starbucks, but nothing all that special either. The impression you get is that Starbucks' principal motivating force is not to produce the finest coffees but rather to produce more Starbucks. If the American coffee-drinking public demanded excellent coffee, then Starbucks would have to provide it. But as the American public don't, there is no commercial necessity for Starbucks to do this, especially because in most places
(a) it will be the only coffee bar around and
(b) its customers will be completely habituated to the Starbucks brand.

Cosmo said...

Nice quote from Bryson.

Have a great time Stateside!

Dana said...

As I've said before, I don't frequent Starbuck's...and if I do go I am bound to get a juice blend. That said, I truly love the Breakfast Blend from Starbuck's, with enough cream to turn it camel.

Other than that, I am sad for the small coffee shops...they do hold a special charm.

Reminded me of "You've Got Mail"...