Having owned many retail businesses, I know how difficult it is to open the doors and get in the groove of providing a service and providing customer service. No matter how much you polish the chrome, first impressions are your employees. It is important to smile before you make eye contact so that your smile is in your eyes.
The House Coffee Bar has opened their doors in Ft. Worth, right on the edge of the west side downtown. It is an area that is looking to be the place people live and shop. Many of the old buildings are being refaced or torn down for new, with the average building being single story and new condos being built as high as three.
A single parking space length off the road was once a three store mall, now the home of The House Coffee Bar and conference room spaces. The dark windows and artistic block letter sign could easily be missed by all but the locals. Judging by the number of cars out front, the locals are spreading the word.
Once inside, you are greeted with the ‘usual’ danishes with a few local specialties mixed in. High on the wall behind the counter and espresso bar is two large thin screens showing the menu of drinks and sandwiches. The dark wood walls, black leather wrapped furniture, large tables and open air environment says less about ‘welcome’ and more about ‘bring your friends with you… take your time’.
The staff was nice, making no attempt to offer additional items or pressure up sells, they took my coffee drink order efficiently. There was a bit of an air of ‘in training’ with the talk amongst staff so the extra time for the drink to be finished felt acceptable. When the espresso was delivered, it had a nice punch in the taste that set it above the big chain coffee houses. I had a Mocha, which was syrup rather than powder carrying a nice level of sweetness without being over powering.
While myself and the gent behind me in line where welcomed more warmly than most businesses I frequent, the three men behind us where greeted with great energy. Making us feel like we were ‘just customers’. It was soon apparent that all three individuals have used the space for meetings and hung out longer than the time to drink an espresso.
Will I go back? Of course, the coffee and available space is just right for the area. It will require taking clients ‘away’ from town but once inside I can see the atmosphere being right to meet. And of course, I need to go enough so I can get greeted with the high energy welcome, everyone wants to go someplace they know your name.
915 Florence Street
Fort Worth, TX, 76102