At what point does a coffee shop become something other than a coffee shop? This question was posed by Todd Welfelt in the forum recently. You can read his comments here (must be registered).

Todd asks this question:

This particular place serves coffee, alcohol, food, live music, comedy routines, and gives away powerball tickets on Wednesdays. With each ‘additional’ item the quality of the coffee suffers a bit more but the place seems to be more and more busy. Why is that?

It’s a great question, and I thought the readers of Arizona Coffee might be interested in helping to answer the question.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. If the place alluded to in the quote is a coffee shop then so is Circle K, so is McDonalds etc.
    In my opinion a coffee shop is a place where the coffee takes center stage: it is the reason you go there, but it also puts coffee on a higher pedestal then say a drive thru with mostly flavored coffee, but the more I think about it the more grey areas arise.

  2. Psyd

    On the fora, I think I decided that it’s still a coffee shop regardless of whatever else is offered if the barista is manning the coffee paraphernalia, and cooks are cooking and cashiers are cashiering, and the baristi are not distracted from their primary focus. Getting you the best coffee that they’re able to. If you have to wait for coffee while the ‘barista’ works the microwave, or makes a sammy, or pulls a quick sundae, you’ve entered the ‘not a coffee shop’ zone.