I normally make a point to refrain from any sort of negativity on this blog, but sometimes you just have to get up on a soapbox. I scheduled a casual meeting this afternoon and believed that the Halcyon Coffeehouse would be a comfortable spot where it could be conducted. Just to add a bit of history to this story, I used to really like Halcyon. They had a separate smoking room inside, a stocked humidor, and it was always maintained by an interesting person who was usually playing good music. They had a huge bar, a case full of sweets & eats, and plenty of space to lounge while getting some work done on the computer.
At some point all of this changed, and for the worse. The smoking room was removed, the bar was cut in half, the spacious lounge appeal was strangled, and the whole place received some sort of faux-elitist whitewash treatment. Snap forward to today, and even the staff who run this place have been ruined. As I entered Halcyon today I immediately spotted the person I was to meet with, so we exchanged introductions and began our discussion.
I had arrived late so I figured we would go ahead and get down to business, planning to grab a coffee to go after we wrapped up. I also figured to buy a pack of smokes while I was there, since my supply had run out. As our fairly brief conversation neared its conclusion, one of Halcyon's militant staff slithered over to our table and began to berate the two of us for having the audacity to believe that we could actually have a brief, casual sit-down at a coffee shop without immediately ordering something first. And one simple explanation of our cowardice wouldn't suffice, she felt the need to thoroughly detail our horrendous offense and curtail any possible repentance on our part. We quickly ended our conversation, and kindly left.
I traveled a few blocks to find an alternate business to buy a pack of smokes, and then made a trip across the river to lend some patronage to Jo's Hot Coffee on South Congress. As I arrived I noticed they were closing down early for the day, but I asked if they might have one more cup of coffee left in there. The courteous fellow quickly obliged, handed me a glass, and then said "it's on the house." Could he sense my potential coffee shop abandonment after the ineptitude I experienced at Halcyon? No, he probably just knows how to treat his customers.
Halcyon, I'll never visit your establishment again. Not only that, whenever the topic of coffee arises in conversation amongst the company I keep, I'll recommend that they steer clear also. And guess what? I just did.
For reference, here is a list of places that you can get coffee in Austin where they won't treat you like you just kicked a puppy:
Progress, Irie Bean, Jo's, Ruta Maya, Flipnotics, Spider House, Bouldin Creek, Green Muse, Austin Java, Mozart's, Cafe Caffiene, Caffé Medici, Dominican Joe, Summermoon Coffee Bar, Little City, and Hot Mamas.
To make this music blog related, here's a few songs about coffee: