Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

‘For Christ’s Sake, Have a Cuppa Tea’*

with 2 comments

This place sounds downright horrible:

… Mr. Beckham … uses a similar model at his own coffeeshop in Crowne Point, Indiana, called, rather bluntly, the Conservative Café. “No, we don’t carry the New York Times,” he assures me. They do, however, carry the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune. Meanwhile, café televisions are tuned to Fox News from open to close.

Mr. Beckham’s coffeeshop sells t-shirts that use classic conservative shock-and-awe rhetoric, such as, “Silly Liberal: Paychecks are for workers,” and “Peace through superior firepower.”

In photos, his coffeeshop looks like a Cracker Barrel, but with World War II kitsch rather than old Coca Cola signs. Stars and stripes are everywhere …

The owner says his coffee shop will stand in contrast to all those “liberal” coffee shops, like Starbucks. Are there people (outside of maybe people in Crowne Point, Indiana) who really believe that any given Starbucks has a particular ideological bent? Starbucks is, in the city at least, as ubiquitous and McDonald’s, and as nondescript as a hospital waiting room. Its function is utilitarian – get in, acquire venti nonfat triple latte, get out.

He also says he does not want people to come in with laptops and books, to linger. That’s kind of what people at coffee shops … do. I think this man is confused about what he really wanted to open. I will give him a hint. It is my grandma’s favorite restaurant. It is a big hint with the after church crowd. It even serves coffee.


* This is just because ever since reading JP’s article, I’ve had The Kinks’ Have a Cuppa Tea stuck in my head and, dammit, it is certainly one of the more annoying Kinks songs, probably second only to Victoria.


Written by Elizabeth

October 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] a comment » Via Elizabeth Nolan Brown, a coffee shop which sounds well, deeply unpleasant: “No, we don’t carry the New York […]

  2. […] I’ve said before (and, apparently, I’m going to say again), Starbucks has always seemed entirely utilitarian to […]

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