Bad juju in a sign


So as crazy as this sounds (and is), every few weeks I drive about 1 1/2 hours to spend the day in my favorite Southern California coffee shop.

I know … I know—it makes no sense, especially when I live in a land of 8,000 cafes within a 20-mile radius. The thing is, something about 212 Pier works for me. It’s kind of a cool-looking California joint, in the best possible way. Bookshelves lined with used offerings; high ceilings with various types of fans, wood floor, baked goods lining an encasement near the register. I’m actually not doing the description justice, so … take a quick look:


My favorite part of 212 Pier is the crowd. It’s always a quirky gathering of writers, musicians, loud talkers, down-on-their-luck waywards and folks wearing one shoe. I’m not joking, and it’s something I genuinely dig. Hell, I even met the 179th Quaz here. Where I live, the Starbucks seem to be populated by tennis moms and PTA gaggles. Which, of course, is fine. Just not overly interesting.

This place, and these people, are interesting.

So … I arrive today, following my 1 1/2-hour drive. And I plop down my stuff on the table. And I’m greeted by the sign at the top of this entry. First, I have no idea what “Piertons” are, but they sound like the little worms from the Star Trek movie that dig into your skull. Second, I hate this signage. Like, hate, hate, hate it. I hate everything about it. Look, I get it, commercially. But … it’s not coffee shop signage. It’s just not. Places like this are supposed to be chill and relaxed and welcoming. Have a cup of coffee, kick back, read a newspaper, study for your exam. Yeah, you’re supposed to buy stuff. But that’s implied, not enforced.

Some businesses get away with this stuff. You can be a nice restaurant and insist patrons only can use the bathroom. You can be a parking lot with a limit on space access. But you can’t be a cozy coffee shop without coziness.

It doesn’t make you more money.

It simply spells your doom.

2 thoughts on “Bad juju in a sign”

  1. Jeff , there is a reason these types of venues are very rare and you have to drive an hour and a half to get there. They can’t make money. They didn’t put the sign up just to piss you off or out of greed. They need to sell some coffee or you will be driving two hours to find a place.

  2. There are times when I get frustrated with Internet leeches suckling up space leaving the table by the toilet free.
    They just want you to pay your way.
    Sounds fair.

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