What do you guys think about adding fine wines, and champaign(ia) after hours? Say, no kids from 10:00p-1:30am for Late Night musicians or comedians?
I managed a coffeeshop in a small bookstore for a few years. Some of the best things about it (which people already mentioned) were there was always only classical music on (softly) it was background, it was great to work to, and it set a very nice tone I think. They used real mugs for people drinking there, not throwaway cups. We served sandwiches, pastries, anything a restaurant would have to drink, (oh we had this fresh squeezed orange juice that was amazing!) and beer and wine. It was never a problem with kids we just carded them.
"It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
ADDITION: Thanks Protean! How can I guard against people trying to watch porn in my business? I still wanna let them bring in their laptops, but that's not acceptable.
When you get your WiFi set up, I know that there is a way to block certain ports from being accessed, thus blocking certain sites etc from being accessed. Or you could get one of those filters and filter out only pornography.
With good quality coffee and tea, good soft music(classical, jazz), fine art on the walls, relatively quiet and peaceful. Decent selection of books. No Hipsters! Overall a very relaxing and cultured atmosphere.
Peguy! Always an honor to have you post. It may indeed have those elements incorporated, but much larger then that room. I'm thinking about incorporating some bright stained glass windows that will follow the sun over the building, but that might get expensive. Still, it'd look awesome.
To Blackcat: Good idea with the filter, I think that's the direction I'm going to head for.
My favorite coffee shop was this place in my hometown (eh, one of my hometowns) called Cafe Mundo. It was originally a little dinky coffee hut thing in a yard full of kooky junk (like old sculptures and trinkets and mismatched tables and wood stoves). Then they built a proper building, which took up some of the yard. I thought that was kind of a shame, because I always liked how nutty it was, but the building was great...light-colored wood floors and a second story loft so you could look down at the lower level, with one of those pulley-system things (you know, you crank the wheel and the basket goes up...please somebody tell me what this is called, I know it's got a name...) for moving things from the kitchen to the second story. Lots of tables (covered in mosaics and crazy paintings) and a little stage in one corner of lower level, very airy and comfortable. The bathrooms had chalkboard walls, and the whole place was owned and operated by hippies. Oh and they had amazing food.
Sheesh. Why am I not there right now again?
EDIT: Thanks Z Buck McFate for telling me that those pulley things are called dumbwaiters.
"There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"
Really strong coffee and friendships with the people that work there = ). Good food and pastries- everything has to be home made and there has to be seasonal stuff (hot apple cider, hot chocolate, etc.) and sangria and local wine and beer. I also like when the ppl that work there have favorites so I know they're not BSing me. A fireplace and live music (good stuff- v. bad folk music that I usually hear). I also love when they have a library with real books in them = P. And maybe the occasional after hours community night (i.e. movie and a potluck) where people just come to have fun or to fund-raise for a cause (buying cows for families in Darfur).
[*]Lots and Lots of Big Comfy Chairs, Recliners, Coaches, and Loveseats Intersparced Throughout.
This can work against you as the place gets more popular. One of the reason popular restaurants have uncomfortable chairs is to get you out so you dont linger. Table turnover. If it gets too popular, you can artificially expand by putting in hard chairs.
You can't do all these things though. You probably have to pick an angle and just go with it. I mean you are selling coffee. You can afford to finance a remodel with private rooms, couches, stained glass, etc.