I was recently on a walk when I spotted the new Capital One branded 360 Cafe in downtown Chicago. Being naturally curious about coffee shops, I thought I’d check it out. I’m experienced in rating coffee shops, having run several high profile blogs about coffee shops and so I’m experienced enough to know when I’m getting a good drink.
I ordered a cappuccino “for-here” which was dutifully served in a mug. Nobody asked me what size, so I ended up with a sort of medium-sized beverage served to me in a Capital One mug.
The cashier took my VISA (nope, I don’t have a Capital One card, and I don’t want one) and promptly pretended to be curious about my business (name was on the card). I told him I’m a designer, and have been for 15 years (he asked how long).
Then, the cashier proceeded to pitch me on their payment processing system. Something called Sparkpay (I remember it, because that was also the WiFi password!). He told me he could give me a 2-minute demonstration, if I was interested… I declined.
The rest of my visit was peaceful, and I wasn’t bugged again with other sales pitches. But, around noon there was a table set up selling pizza, of all things, and a fairly large crowd of people came into the store to buy it. The sign on the front of the table said something about them having the best mac and cheese pizza in Chicago.
My coffee? It was a B. Frankly, it was more of a latte. My foam was all whipped up and dry, not wet like you’d get over at Intelligentsia (but, it’s not really fair to compare these two places).
The coffee temperature was good, however, and on this cold November day that’s what I needed. The WiFi was free, and I was able to work in peace, once I had declined the sales pitch.
I gather that if you have a Capital One card, and use it to pay, they’ll give you a pat on the back, a huge discount, and probably come and rub your feet and do your cuticles while you wait. That’s the vibe I got, at least.
The key colors in the place are red, and white. It’s a nice looking shop, with views of the street and highrises. Nicely done, Capital One! But, work on your coffee.