03 December 2007
Cafe Mismanaged, purveyor of Bottleneck Bagels
Cafe Fresh, located at 1242 Amsterdam Avenue at 121st Street, has got to tighten up.
The place opened up about a year ago, and Becca and I have been there on numerous occasions because it's the coffee shop closest to my apartment. But I can't stand the ridiculous service at this place any longer.
The problem starts when you walk in the door an directly into the back of somebody waiting in line (see diagram). See, rather than take the unique horseshoe shape of their space and make it an advantage, the owner decided to make the single most restricting spot in the whole cafe the central circulation point.
Result: a total clusterfuck.
If you're in line, somebody just ran into your back, is trying to get from the seating area to the bathroom, or just spilled coffee all over you because we've exceeded the recommended maximum allowable elbows for a 50 square foot space.
What's especially irritating is that I'd be willing to deal with the clusterfuck if the service could put a cup of coffee in my hand in fewer than 17 minutes--which it can't. There is a single cashier/barista/quasi-manager, and he could totally borrow some of the arms connected to those extra elbows on the side of the counter.
It's a shame, because the food is pretty good...that is, if you can get there before they run out of bagels at 10am on a weekend. Don't do that.