KFnet in T-Town

Dec. 18, 2007 at 9:01am

David or Goliath ~ Who's Coffee Would You Drink?

You must choose, but choose wisely...

Imagine, if you will, a coffee shop owned by David then another one door down owned by Goliath. At both you can get the latte of your choice but David also serves up tasty sandwiches, free wifi, and a feeling of community that brings people in that will make you want to ignore the wifi and lift your head from your laptop or iPhone to be engaged. So which would you choose?

Now what if I said Goliath is the UWT Starbucks downtown right next door to Keith's Renaissance Cafe? If you were predisposed/programmed to know Starbucks means coffee like Xerox means facsimiles and Kleenex means snot rag, would you go local? Looking at two doors nearly side-by-side, no extra effort needed whatsoever, would you go local or go typical?

Here's something to ponder: this week you can't go Starbucks so give Renaissance a try instead. I promise, it won't hurt. Ponder also that  across the nation the big coffee purveyor is starting to offer hot sandwiches and the first one in Tacoma that's being renovated and is closed right now happens to be right next to a locally-owned and operated coffee and sandwich shop. Me thinks they want a slice of Jared's sub-shaped pie when, in fact, they may hurt David.

A Renaissance Cafe
1746 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
[ map ]

comments [10]  |  posted under go local, renaissance cafe, starbucks, tacoma

Comments

by jenyum on 12/18/2007 @ 9:05am
They have cheap, kid-friendly breakfasts, too.

by intacoma on 12/18/2007 @ 9:14am
They have breakfast sandwiches at the one on (10th & pacific) I think thats the address

by KevinFreitas on 12/18/2007 @ 9:16am
My bet is it won't last. Starbucks needs to stick to coffee and music and remove all else so it doesn't needlessly tempt the people we love and their pocketbooks.

by izenmania on 12/18/2007 @ 9:28am
Yeah, Michael, actually almost all of them already do breakfast sandwiches (which is perfectly reasonable, considering that's their main traffic perios)... now they're venturing into more lunchy foods, and I don't know how well that will work for them.

I do think it's a smart move to give it its initial try in a given city right next to a university.

by zastica on 12/18/2007 @ 9:32am
That cafe is amazing. They have excellent bbq sandwiches.

by Niki Sullivan on 12/18/2007 @ 9:35am
I've only been there twice, and likely won't go back.
For the first visit I was alone. I was treated well. The food was ok.
For the second visit, I was with someone ... whose appearance was less traditional. We were not treated well. The food was ok.
I don't know for a fact why we were given poor service (and a once- or twice-over) on a slow day ... And whatever the reason, it's his right as a business owner... Or maybe others have had better experiences ... But I'll stick with Starbucks.

by Hilltopmom on 12/18/2007 @ 9:43am
If I needed to stay and study, I'd choose free wi-fi and community atmosphere, and probably spend more money in the process. But if I just needed a quick caffeine jolt, I'd probably go to the giant unless I had been to the other one enough to know they are fast and their coffee is consistent. Since my life revolves around TCC right now, I'm usually heading the other direction for either one.

by jcbetty on 12/18/2007 @ 10:06am
When I was attending UWT, it always perplexed me that this shop was empty when the Starbucks was teeming. I will say, I had some slow service and some apathetic service, whereas the 'bucks was always consistent, but in terms of food, hang-out, wi-fi, and breakfast with kid, I'd go Renaissance any day.
In terms of fabulous lattes, though, and consistent service with a cool ambience, I loved Metro Coffee.

by ensie on 12/18/2007 @ 10:54am
I've always had good lunch experiences at the Renaissance. They make good sandwiches and have amazing cookies that I usually order a few extra of to take home. It's a little bit pricier that what I'd probably pay at Starbucks, but the food is homemade and worth it.

I have to say the feeling in the Renaissance, while it is very community oriented, doesn't make me want to stay there. There are no comfy chairs. It's a little cafeteria like and thrown together. I'm much more apt to get in and get out, not stay a while. I do enjoy reading the encyclopedias though.

by KevinFreitas on 2/3/2008 @ 9:28am
Turns out with all the recent stock woes Starbucks is ending breakfast sandwich sales. I guess Renaissance Cafe should be feeling pretty good about that revelation. There's also talk of closing underperforming stores. I don't suppose this UWT location is one that's suffering. Can't win 'em all.

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