The Coffeehouse Scene: Thank You For Not Smoking

It’s comedy time again at my local coffee hole.

Since this place has the only large open patio around, smokers congregate. At first the management tried to segregate tobacco to a far corner of the patio. Possibly because of complaints from an adjacent beauty salon, they escalated to a complete ban, with the expected failure.

At most coffee joints this would result in a temporary security guard, or some customers being 86’d, or a return to a more reasonable policy. But this is not most coffee joints. At this café, a failed campaign results in a full-service Mediterranean opera including screaming exits, synchronized shrugging, rapid cycling bipolar pastry flinging, eyebrow duels, threats to multiple generations of the family, and soliloquys delivered at maximum volume towards the fast food place next door. Scenes from the current production include:

  • Owner having yelling fight in Italian with cigar-smoking customer, resulting in unverified physical threats from said customer
  • Fifteen to 20 anti-smoking signs all over the place, many facing each other less than 3 feet away
  • Manager trying to stuff customer’s cigarettes into her hoodie before owner sees them
  • Owner attempting to get customers who are smoking in the parking lot to smoke around the other side of the fast food joint next door
  • Owner threatening to close the place right now tonight if customers don’t stop smoking
  • Owner promising to close the place in a week if camera catches even one customer smoking
  • Customers lining up patio umbrellas so that owner’s camera can’t see them smoke
  • Departure of 2/3rd of the regular evening crowd

It makes me want to START smoking just so I can be part of the action.

The night they drove old Diedrich down

The old coffee house finally shut down and we had a proper wake. Some people showed up the afternoon of the day before, and a lot more showed up last night when the doors finally closed. I didn’t get shots of everyone, but there are photos here of people I never got on camera before.

Goodbye, patio! This is the place where I made my best mistakes.

The Wake Group Shot

Goodbye Sign (closeup)

More photos in this set on flickr: