The Starbucks at Columbus Circle and I have a little bit of history. In fact, you could say it was the early inspiration for this blog.
After graduating from the University of Central Florida in early December of 2011, I decided to reward myself by spending a 5-day streak in NYC with two of my best friends. At some point we ended up at Columbus Circle shortly after midnight lost and searching for a bar that seemed to be evading us. So, we dived into the Starbucks on 60th and Broadway to escape the cold, refuel, and recalculate. Already a regular Starbucks devotee, I had developed a set expectation of what I would find in each location, and the NYC Starbucks locations were dispelling it left and right. At this particular location, after waiting an excruciating amount of time for two lattes, my friend and I started talking about how the NYC Starbucks compared to the locations in Florida.
Just over a year later, I sit here in the same city that I can now call my home — at the same Starbucks that set things in motion.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Columbus Circle area, just know this — it’s busy and beautiful. At the south-west corner of Central Park, the circle has become an iconic landmark — fully equipped with picturesque statuary and shops to keep you busy. It is also a large transportation hub for both buses and subway lines.
So how does all this reflect on the Starbucks on the corner of the circle? — Not well, unfortunately.
Unlike the Starbucks on 34th and 5th that was well equipped to handle the masses, this Starbucks seems to buckle under the pressure. As I walked in this evening, I was greeted by a sea of people waiting around — either waiting to order, waiting to sit, waiting on their drinks, or waiting for the bathroom. Everyone seemed to be placed in a public purgatory — neither coming nor going. The baristas did not seem to move with any sense of urgency brought on by the waiting crowds, and the drinks seemed to be simply tossed onto the bar for the masses to figure out — causing unnecessary confusion. The man directly behind me in line actually commented outloud: “This Starbucks is the worst one.”
Well — I can’t say it’s the worst. After all, I still have 189 to go! But it’s definitely not one you’ll get in-and-out of quickly nor is it suitable for an easy sit-down. Maybe it’s the Starbucks sent to teach New Yorkers patience?
The Hours… Open from 5am-1am each and every day.
The Seating… Only high-bar seating and not much of it to go around.
The Crowd… They’re seating, they’re standing, they’re waiting… They’re everywhere.
The Restroom… Just one and its located exactly where the baristas are handing out the drinks. Poor planning?
One thing that may have boosted their score — put our names on the cup — it’ll save you time and save the crowd confusion. Isn’t that Starbucks basics?
Drink of Choice:
Grande-Skinny Mocha. This Florida boy’s bones needed something warm.
Overall Starbucks Rating:
The only thing keeping this Starbucks from a 1-Cup Rating — the fact that it’s open til 1am, its only saving grace.