February 14, 2006

Say Uncle

The coffee shop formerly known as Uncle Joe’s has recently implemented some undesirable changes. A fee was instituted to play pool, happy hour is now called unhappy hour, and the shop was given the uninspired new name of Hallowed Grounds. The staff even went so far as to erect a sign greeting customers with the cheery “Where fun comes to live, and you come to die,” a play on the popular University slogan about fun coming to die at the U of C.

This pervasive negativity reflects a lack of concern for the customers. Instead of providing good service to its patrons, the shop seems determined to serve only its staff. What’s more, it appears that the staff is best served by giving the coffee shop an edge, which prompts the question, “Who wants a coffee shop with an edge?”

While every business should be permitted to run its affairs as it sees fit, the direction taken by Uncle Joe’s is disturbing. All of the recent decisions appear to have been made at the bizarre whims of those who work there.

This new negative environment is not good for customers, nor does it bode well for business. By focusing on the needs of its own staff, the shop may soon lose the patronage of its customers.

Uncle Joe’s needs to bring back the friendly, cozy coffee-shop atmosphere students know and love.