Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why Even Promote It?

Yesterday Sarah and I were out and about. It was one of those situations where we hadn't eaten for a while. We weren't very hungry; we were kinda thirsty. We knew we should probably get something small to eat and/or drink but we didn't know what.

We were driving past the Lancaster campus of HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) and I saw a coffee shop I'd never tried before. It was a relatively new building with a professional-looking light tan brick exterior. The signs outside were printed in a very upscale button-down font. It was called Gold Cafe and the steaming cup of coffee on the logo was enticing.

Figuring they would probably have light snacks as well, I recommended we give it a try. We pulled in next to the drive-thru lane and Sarah said, "I think this is a bank."

I was about to remind her of all of the coffee signs outside the building, but something inside told me she may be right. Sure enough, as we got out of the car and approached the front door (and one of their signs) I saw that in smaller print underneath where it said "Gold Cafe" it also had printed Union National Community Bank.

We walked in and to our right was a small seating area with tables and chairs. In front of us was indeed a coffee shop counter. And to our left was a bank lobby. I was about to say, "How weird is this? A coffee shop and a bank" but then I realized all of the coffee makers had plastic covers on them. The counter was dark and there weren't many lights on in the seating area. There were two large coffee dispensing canisters on the counter labeled "REGULAR" and "DECAF" with a small stack of paper cups beside them. On the specials board it said, "Talk to our manager about opening an account today!"

I shifted my somewhat stunned look to the bank lobby. There were two men in business suits sitting, conversing, and not eating or drinking coffee. They didn't acknowledge that Sarah and I were standing in the middle of the lobby, still perplexed that a bank had lured us in by posing as a coffee shop.

"What is this?" I asked as we turned around and walked out. As I think about it now, it didn't look like a bank or a coffee shop. It looked like one of those churches that have coffee shops inside of them but it was all dark because it was a Monday afternoon.

As we pulled out I noticed that the drive-thru was actually a bank teller drive-thru. What a mean, mean trick! To pose as a coffee shop and really just be a bank? That's low, people. That's like when your friend asks you if you want to go out to eat and you find out that it's really a business pitch for some new pyramid scheme they've gotten into. How dare you tell me you have coffee when you're really a freakin' bank and the only coffee you have is something that was probably brewed six hours earlier sitting in an aluminum tank?

I found this promotional picture for the Gold Cafe online.

Please note that

A) People are actually there
B) There are baristas present
C) The lights are on
D) From the outside, it does indeed look like a fancy coffee shop
E) Union National Community Bank are tricky tricksters

Shame on you, Bank-Posing-As-Coffee-Shop.

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