Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Rules of Coffee Rumors

The first rule of coffee rumors is, don't believe the coffee rumors.

The second rule of coffee rumors is, if you really want the rumors to become reality, you should make them come true yourself.

There seems to be a bit of a backlash brewing in the WP about The Nomad, in which people feel cheated for the coffee shop they never got, and resent The Nomad for being a bar. I know I was an advocate for a coffee shop, but I'll take a bar, and I'll definitely take The Nomad, because even if it's not a coffee shop, it's going to improve the overall environment in the WP so much that you will, eventually, get a coffee shop. As I wrote in my review (which you can see in an earlier post), that place is going to be an economic and aesthetic anchor for what happens on OUR side of 51st.

It's not easy, though. Back in the early days of my rumor-mongering, I got serious about the second rule of coffee rumors. I found out that despite the positive signs of a thriving neighborhood of owners (not renters) of a certain socioeconomic class, Windsor Park is still considered a risky place for restaurant investment. Until somebody solves that problem, no coffee shop. I don't know what choices Miguel had to make to open The Nomad, but I imagine they were about the business, and selling alcohol has higher profit margins than coffee. I also believed him when he said he wanted to do coffee eventually. If he doesn't, that's okay. Why?

Because I don't insist on pinning ALL of my hopes and dreams on one place and one guy. It's like pinning all your hopes and dreams on one airport re-development project. It doesn't make sense. You will be disappointed. There will be financial hiccups, back-room deals, personal fallings-out, none of which you can control. (UPDATED NOTE: I'm not saying that any of those were reasons behind The Nomad not having coffee early in the morning.) At a certain point, any planner's job is simply to keep the project from looking like a train wreck.

Here's the thing: the person who's smart and ballsy enough to open a coffee shop for real is going to point to The Nomad as an example of how a new food-related business (that's not selling paletas or fried chicken) can succeed in the neighborhood. That's why you want The Nomad there.

In the meantime, stop breaking the rules of coffee rumors.


Adam said...

The Nomad is a fantastic and much needed addition to the neighborhood. Anyone who doesn't see that, or doesn't appreciate what it has added as a social outlet and as a future development anchor, is blind.

Miguel said...

Thanks to those that support and prefer Nomad to the transient bums sleeping in peoples yards waiting to do day labor that was there before. I suppose to some people the fact that we sell delicious free trade organic coffee,at 11AM and not at 6AM is less desirable than the way it was before. Incredible, just absolutely incredible. I suppose no matter what you do, there are those that will always complain.

Bonnie Prince Charlie said...

I should mention: A friend of mine had been in negotiations for space in the same center that Nomad's is in. He was going to open a coffee place. He thought he had a deal, but then the owner of the place pulled the rug out from under him by dividing the space and renting half of it to the tattoo parlor that's there now. I believe that the puny space that's left is still for rent. That was our coffee house, man!

lepard said...

I saw a sign on the space next to the Tattoo Parlor, it said "Corona Coffee." Are you thinking what I am thinking?