1524 7th Ave.
BY "JUAN VALDEZ"
Well, since we spent the the last column amidst the gleaming skyscrapers of Bellevue, we thought it would be fun to do the same in this week's column only in downtown Seattle, instead.
And what better place to do so than the middle of 7th avenue, right on the edge of the Elliott Hotel?
In fact, this store is close enough to the hotel that the Starbucks patrons have to use the hotel's facilities if they want to go to the bathroom. Therefore, there will not be an evaluation of the bathroom in this review much to the chagrin of at least some of the loyal readers.
This is a deceptively large store. From the outside, it looks like a normal hole in the wall Starbucks but, once inside, it's rather roomy. I liked the tile wall along the back and the friendly mix of tables, counter space and comfy chairs.
The pastry/cold cases were clean and stocked although the cold case part was apparently not in use for some unknown reason; instead there was a stand up case nearby which held all the cold items. There was some sort of board placed over the empty cold case and, while I was there, at least two people picked it up to see what was going on which had to be irritating to the three partners on duty.
Because we're reaching the end of this little journey, I decided to shake things up a bit and had a signature hot chocolate, the first time I've done so during one of my visits. I have to say I found it to be delicious...a really pleasing blend of chocolate. Yummy.
The partners were pleasant and friendly and efficient. Unfortunately, that efficiency didn't extend past the front counter. Business was steady but came in a couple of waves. In between the waves, there was time to clean the dirty lobby and condiment stand yet no one did. It was discouraging to see a good visit ruined by the lack of attention to detail.
48 down...two more to go...
Time of day: morning
* Number of partners on the floor: 3
* Service time: 5 minutes
* Business level: steady
* Was the bathroom cleaner than a gas station bathroom?: No bathroom
* Legendary service: No
* Would I recommend to a friend: Yes
* # of stores reviewed where a partner has tried to connect with a customer – 23 out of 48
* # of stores where they've offered samples of anything – 4 out of 48
* # of stores that could have been considered "understaffed" - 2 out of 48
* # of stores with a clean bathroom – 26 out of 46
* # of stores with a chair sitting in the bathroom – 1 out of 46
"Juan Valdez" is the nom de cyber of a former Starbucks manager who became disenchanted with the increasingly bitter taste of the Starbucks experience and fled to the mountains of Colombia where he now rides his burro and ponders the glittering sunsets. On a crisp clear day, when atmospheric conditions are just right and the moon is in the seventh house, he can be reached at email@example.com