“I know what’ll cheer you up…”

July 22, 2010

"Keep Smiling"

In any other coffee shop, I'd probably roll my eyes and scowl. Here, I kind of shake my head and smirk.

Java House on Urbanspoon“Service with a smile.” Sadly, it’s one of those business adages that’s so overstated we’ve learned to ignore it from seeing it so many times. You know, kind of like “employees must wash hands.” Ideally, both should be common practice, but the difference is that while the latter is practical, the former is meaningful…if you mean it.

I won’t beat around the bush here. You want service with a smile? Go to Java House. I’ve dropped in no more than a half-dozen times over the last couple years, and I’ve gotten quite possibly the cheeriest service I’ve seen anywhere in the greater Columbia area. There’s no gimmick or secret here, they’re just nice people that know good service. Actually, there’s no reason for them not to know good service. They’ve been camped out on the corner of Evergreen and Columbia since 1990. Indeed, they’ve been serving up espresso longer than many Americans have been drinking it. Rumor also has it that this is the place to chill if you’d like to run into some of our local legislators, since Java House is in the heart of downtown.

Outdoorsy indoors.

All the fun of the outdoors...indoors!

Now, if you aren’t necessarily looking keep your finger on the pulse of the Vancouver business-suit scene, there are plenty of other reasons to go there. They’re a corner shop, which means a lot of window seats, which I’m a fan of. The decor rocks this kind of outdoorsy-indoor look, which makes me want to waste much of my life there (if they put down more electric outlets and upgraded their wireless bandwidth). The outdoorsy motif bleeds over into the adjacent to the Art On the Boulevard Arts Gallery, a cool little indoor villa complete with fountain, cobblestone floor, sculpture, and even tables and chairs. It’s probably one of the more relaxing places in Vancouver to do work actually.

So if I love the place so much, why am I not there all the time? I’m not there more often merely because it’s not close enough for me to walk to (Mon Ami win), they don’t serve the best-tasting coffee in Vancouver (Paper Tiger win), they close too early for me to loiter after work (Starbucks on Hazel Dell win), their wireless is pretty dodgy (Tully’s on 78th win), and they don’t serve food (Rosemary Cafe win). Of course, if they’ve got the mayor going there on a regular basis, so I can’t imagine they’re losing sleep over missing my regular patronage.

“…Orange Mocha Frappuccino!!!”


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