For an second visit to this location.
On the East side of Government, right across the street of the Empress, The Soda Shoppe is in one of the best locations in downtown. I was surprised to learn--thanks to Your Restaurant Sucks, that they are no longer are a Rogers outlet.
The store is divided into two sections: the ice-cream parlour, and the rest. It is a large place, with large windows offering a beautiful view of the area in front of the Empress. It was a very hot day, but I needed a coffee. In retrospective, it was the worst day of the year to come here. The Sun was blazing and I sat, you guess it, by the windows, under the Sun.
I love that view. It is soothing. I makes me feel like a tourist, and enjoy the fact that people pay to come here to have a similar experience. Unfortunately the person who designed those sits never sat in them. They are the most uncomfortable in the world. Perhaps it is by design: they want tourist to keep moving. Thus a high turn-over and lots of business, who will never come back--at least not for months. The locals, the regular, can come, but the sits seem to scream "please don't stay for long". It is a shame, because I'd be willing to come for that view on a regular basis, and pay top-money for it.
Service is slow. And it is annoying to have to wait by the counter for my coffee for what feels like an eternity. They need a way to streamline that. Shoppe, if you are listening, hire a busboy, and people will love the extra pampering (I would).
The coffee was ok but a bit bitter for my taste, but it had good thickness. The small Lindt chocolate that came with it was melting by the time I ate it, but I enjoyed it. I like the treat of a small chocolates with my coffee.
Verdict: Nice location, awful sitting, recommended with reservations.
Update: Nov 10, 2010. I received one of the worst coffees in a while. The problem with the baristas here is that they are young people with no skill. Order something other than coffee.
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