Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

McMurray Musings - What This City Really Needs....

I have written about places, events, and people in Fort Mac that I think are great. Just so that I don't seem all Pollyanna about the city, though, I thought I'd also start writing the occasional post about something the city is lacking, why we need it, and why I think it would benefit the city.

The first thing we are lacking might seem a little petty to some, but to me it's huge. I've written that I love CoCo Jo's, and I do, but why oh why don't we have another "real" little coffee shop like a Starbucks or a Second Cup? And I don't mean Starbucks in a grocery store. That's fine to pick up a latte to go, but to sit and talk? I'd rather sit down in the middle of Franklin and try to hold a conversation.

No, what we need is a little stand-alone Starbucks. Maybe with a drive-thru if I really want to dream big. One with comfy chairs, and a fireplace, and free wifi, and good hours. If it could be located in Timberlea? Almost like heaven.

 Okay, I know staffing is an issue here, but every other chain deals with that, too. I know for certain that we have the population to support a Starbucks (have you seen the line-up at the ones in the Safeways?), and I know we have the need for more coffee shops (some mornings Coco Jo's is getting very crowded and frankly I fear that one day I won't find an open table, which will make me uber-cranky).

We need it because our population is growing, and we drink a lot of coffee. We need it so that maybe the line-ups at Tim's get shorter. We need it so that I can get my Starbucks fix, dammit, and in a place that doesn't make me dodge grocery carts to get it.

Why would it benefit us? I think coffee shops can become an amazing little social hub. I know there are regulars at Coco Jo's, and I know this to be true of coffee shops even in much larger cities. It becomes a place where people go to meet and talk and exchange ideas and dream and complain. Coffee houses have a long history of being the places where people met to discuss new ideas. Philosophers, politicians, and writers have held court in coffee houses. Unlike pubs and bars the drinks offered are not intoxicating and thus the ideas discussed often actually have some merit and might even be remembered the next morning (not that I have a problem with bars and pubs, mind you).

So, Starbucks and Second Cup powers-that-be - give us a stand-alone coffee shop already. I've heard the rumours and now I wanna see the real deal. Trust me, when you open your doors, I'll be the first in line. And I won't be alone.


  1. MMM.... nice. How about one with a Chapters attached to it? Now that would be heavenly.

  2. Oh, Jane, you dream bigger than I even dare! That would be heaven, although they'd probably have to hire me. Combine books and a Starbucks and I'd never leave...