I was just there today with my son, getting a smoothie for him on our way to run some errands. I've lived in Clifton for 19 years and know Sitwells well, but I rarely go in because of these issues:
1. Nobody even noticed our presence for at least 5 minutes. We were right there, in the front, at the bar. The place was not crowded at all. The waitress was beyond stressed though, you could tell. Owner was ranting and raving to a customer, didn't notice us. Poor management.
2. Finally the stressed waitress asks if she can help us and I ask what kind of smoothies they had. She was kind enough but it was as though I asked her the question that was going to send her right over the edge for that day. She was stressed and frazzled. Again,t he place wasn't crowded, but it wasn't a friendly atmosphere at all.
3. Ordered the smoothies. In the meantime, I get the pleasure of listening to the owner complain about the people who go to La Poste (I'm one of them) being from Hyde Park, coming into her place and looking around. "They're scared" she said. I think the real issue is that her place is kind of dirty and they are looking at that. And there is an odor about it, can't put my finger on it but there's an unappealing odor.
4. Owner goes on to tell the same La Poste story to multiple customers, some issue about parking, and she's loud, using the "F" word over and over, co-mingled with other 4 letter words, loud, obnoxious, terribly un-welcoming.
5. FIFTEEN minutes later the woman working behind the bar realizes she hasn't made our smoothie. She finally makes it in less than 2 minutes. But really, it took 15 minutes to get one smoothie. She also seemed cranky and unhappy.
The owner was worried about her lease and about the landlord wanting to put something else in her space. After the experience I had today, I would welcome a clean, uplifting, enjoyable coffee house in that space. Eclectic doesn't have to mean ugly, unfriendly and a trifle dirty.
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