Tuesday, July 29, 2008

They’ve got Panache’

There is a major crisis here in the MetroWest. A crisis of epic proportions, of a magnitude that has never been experienced here before. The Great Chicago Fire…The Great Molasses Flood…Meryl Streep, the most overrated actress in Hollywood, nominated 14 times for an Oscar…none of that arises to the seismic shift in the balance of MetroWest universe.

My Starbucks is closed.

For two weeks.

I need time to recover from the shock of it all.

So this morning, we (me, and my people-yes, I have people) went to a new, locally owned coffee shop called “Panache”. Is it a compliment or an insult when one of my peeps asked, “is this a chain?” We call this, the “complisult”.

I guess that’s the real question: chain, or not.

I asked if they were a chain, and he told me that it was a local, one location shop. It was very clean, with professional decorating. Some nice pictures on the wall, and a mix of nice furniture and standard Starbucks’ issued wooden chairs and tables. The coffee tasted fine, and the nice touch…when I came back a second time, the “barista” (if they use the term here) remembered me and only charged me the refill price for my iced coffee. By the way, Panache’ only serves two sizes, “regular” and “large”. For you people who don’t like the fake Italian words like “venti”, Panache’ might be your place.

While I didn’t LOVE it, it might be a decent two-week placeholder while my home away from home rebuilds and reconfigures. I did try another Starbucks yesterday, but it felt like a Stepford Starbucks…the vibe was all wrong. Not all Starbucks are created equal, which is odd, because chains rely on the inherent similarity in all of its outlets. This may be a problem for Starbucks. A house divided cannot stand...

I thought Howard Shultz might have called me to get permission to close for ten days. When they re-open, I better have a seat with my name on it! Otherwise, maybe I’ll have to go to Dunkin’ Donuts.

You've been great. Enjoy The Commodores.

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