We are honored today to have the illustrious Mr D
advance the cause of the Guide to Boston's Starbucks
by providing Bostonia
with a guest review of one such establishment! A resounding huzzah to Mr D, what what?
Image: Mr D
The Strip Mall Starbucks
is located, unsurprisingly, in a small strip mall along Somerville Avenue, a few blocks before the Porter Square T station. It shares the space with a laundromat, a dry cleaners, and a cell phone store; there is a Cumberland Farms with concomitant gas pumps just next door. 711 Somerville Avenue is not a location that invites much walk-in traffic.
Accordingly, customers of the SMS
can be classified into two groups. There are, first, the morning commuters, who crowd the registers between the hours of 7 and 9 AM. One would be wise to expect a ten minute wait at the SMS
in the morning; while the baristas are cheerful and efficient (of which more later), they are still yet only human.
Second, later at night, those who make use of the laundromat's services sometimes stop by for a latte or such. This is hampered to some degree by the relatively early closing hours while the laundromat is open past midnight, the SMS
closes well before 9 PM. Still, even when the inviting door is locked, the wireless connection continues to beam out into the night and into the laundromat next door.
On the weekends, the usually sufficient seating becomes crowded and even full. It is not a spacious Starbucks but it is a comfortable one, with several tables, a pair of easy chairs, and a counter buried deep inside the store. While I object to the positioning of the counter — a Starbucks counter should allow for easy people watching, and this one does no such thing — I have no complaints about the other aspects of the interior. They have done well with the limited space permitted by the location.
The staff is friendly but not too friendly, and they perform with admirable precision. My impression is that most of the baristas have a lengthy tenure at this location, and that their daily tasks have become second nature. Regular customers will be identified, and if you steadily order the same drink, they'll start getting it ready before you're even in the door.
I would grade the SMS
as a strong B+