ESPARKS COFFEE - Steinway St
I was walking along Steinway St and noticed what I thought was a Starbuck's but it's not. It looks like a Starbuck both outside and inside. I went in and ordered a double espresso which is the same price and as good as Starbuck's. Had an awesome blueberry muffin. It could be fairly new and this is the only location but others are planned. Interesting and its just a block from Starbuck's between 30 & 31st St next to Wendy's. For those who live in the Nabe you have a choice.
I've been, and thought it was a Starbucks, too. I think they even do the same tall/grande/venti bs!
Esparks: Nothing Original.
1. If you are going to place comfy chairs in your establishment expect people may close their eyes and relax for a few minutes with a hot tea and book. Don't complain that they are "sleeping." (Especially after just buying 3 such teas and being a nearly daily customer.)
2. Always the same music. Never anything new. Stay long enough and you'll hear the same song 4 times over. And then again the next day.. and the next...
3. Unfriendly staff.
4. *NEVER* has Hot Apple Cider
5. Never has ICE!!! WTF?! How can you not have ICE?
6. It is a large soulless environment which, instead of trying to be something original, carbon copied starbucks badly. It is clear the owner has little to no imagination about creating a local community cafe.
7. Did they hire a 4 year old to write the menu? It is misspelled, misaligned and hard to read.
8. The drinks are nothing special. That's assuming they can even make what you are asking for. They are always "out" of many things.
9. The tables and furniture are falling apart and not maintained well.
Put your laptop on the one in the back between the two green chairs.
See how long it stands. I dare ya'
10. The pastries and desserts are dry and nothing original.
11. What the hell is an Espark? Aside from trying to sound like "Starbuck."
12. Go a little further in Astoria to Freeze Peach Cafe off of ditmars and 29th. The owner will actually sit and chat with you, will bring you your drink, will give you 30 min of free internet and has a much more comfy and friendly atmosphere. And oh yes, actually has a clue as to how to run a cafe.
whoa...that's a little harsh turtleshellny...
I am not the biggest fan of Esparks either, but it is not nearly as bad as you say.
also, while I too like Freeze Peach...it is nowhere near Esparks and is not a suitable alternative. I would suggest grabbing a coffee at Il Bambino on 31st ave.
They opened one near Elmhurst Hospital--yuck. I have to say, the coffee is lousy. The bakery items consist of a few muffins, which look non-descript, and bagels. They had a few unappetizing looking fruit salads as well.