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There are times when a cup of coffee from your pot at home just won’t do the trick. The urge to throw your laptop in your Longchamp or Jansport is just too enticing, and so you walk down to the corner coffee shop near your apartment and you splurge on a cafe latte – maybe a scone if you recently got one of those succulent bi-weekly paychecks.
Hanging around in an independently owned cafe is charming. There’s usually a fireplace with a few logs crackling when it’s cold outside, the music isn’t abrasive, and if you don’t actually have work to do, people watching is a fantastic way to pass the time while you wait for your latte to cool down.
But we have a problem right now. More and more I’m noticing that local mom-and-pop coffee shops are being supplanted by Starbucks, Dunkin’, and worst of all, Capital One. Yes, you read that correctly.
Capital One is venturing into the coffee industry by introducing cafes – spots where you can get a cup of Peet’s coffee (pretty good brand, actually) and do your banking at the same time. I’ve seen two here in Chicago and I assume that they are popping up in comparable cities all over the country.
I don’t really have a problem with corporate greed. The Capital One Cafe is a textbook example of capitalism in the modern age. They know people want convenience, and if you’re strolling into a bank to cash a check or do something more serious, I guess in theory it’s nice to be able to get a piping hot cup of Peet’s while you’re there, but do I really need this? Absolutely not. People want security and peace of mind when they walk into a bank. What I don’t want is some barista screaming from the counter that an Americano for Alex is ready while a banker explains my new credit card to me on an iPad.
I need a bank and a subpar coffee brand to join forces about as badly as I need a kick to the dick. Who was asking for this? Capital One and Peets need to way less. Way, way less.
If Capital One is doing what I think they’re doing then they’ve missed the mark. My hunch is that marketing execs probably thought this would bring in millennial clientele, but millennials want Instagrammable opportunities inside kitschy, dimly lit coffee shops with locally sourced beans and overpriced artisanal baked goods.
I’ll stop into a Cap One Cafe if I’m in a pinch, but there’s no fucking way I’m going to plop my stuff down on a Saturday morning at one of these places when there’s a way cooler coffee shop down the street with a barista named Phoebe or Sloane who is absolutely covered in inappropriate tattoos and also looks like she’d rip my dick off in bed (but in a good way).
I’m just surprised the bank didn’t get The Fat Jew or some other Internet personality to partner with them to really cement themselves as the corniest bank in the league. I don’t see a lot of advertising for the Cap One Cafe.
I don’t know what the end game here is, but I feel like this could very well be the beginning of the end of independently owned coffee shops. Get ready Dunkin’ Chase vestibules and The Einstein Bros BOA Cafe. This is going to be like the new age KFC/Taco Bell hybrids that you see at depressing rest stops along the highway..
Image via Youtube