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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beauty found in Surrey

After years of Surrey jokes (which I won't repeat here), it's worth noting a couple of bright lights.

This location is on Scott at 72nd, part of another renovated mall (exterior facelift, awnings). You'll feel safe as you pull in and park, noticing the community police station is next door. Still, lock your doors. (sorry, but it still is Surrey.)

This location has a regular business flow - the majority of the lineup was regular customers. I've always been impressed with the staff's ability in many Starbucks to know the regular's names, and this was in strong evidence here. Kind of like "Cheers" for those who remember. I wasn't called by name, but my coffee was fresh & hot all the same.

If you're travelling 152nd near Guildford Mall, this location on the East side is worth a stop. The parking lot is tight, but the neighbouring restaraunt is now closed, so use that lot to park.

Surprisingly, the outdoor seating facing 152nd was not as noisy as I expected. The interior areas were full (often are), and I was hesitant to join the smoker crowd outside. Found a corner where the breeze was travelling the right way, and enjoyed the chance to get some "city fresh" air along with my double shot of espresso.

Renovation or new - breaking 40!

Park & Tilford renovations have given this location a great facelift. One of my travelled routes along the North Van passage, I've enjoyed many an espresso here. The interior is the same, still comfortable & spacious. Parking on movie nights is a drag, but daytime (with some sun like this day!) is pretty good. If you've got time, the private wine store in the same building has some of the best selection I've come across. Interesting choices, and helpful staff.

Found myself downtown (okay I drove there, not by accident, truth be told), and parked a couple blocks from an estimate I needed to take care of for work. Hadn't seen this location before - it looks new within the last year. It's on Seymour, just before Smithe. Truly catering to the walking crowd (parking in the area is a chore!), it had an amazing amount of discounted merchandise. Perhaps the condos in the area are under-served with cool cups and neat appliances?

The coffee was good, and the comfy chair in the corner perfect for relaxing while I jotted down all those things I needed to remember, and returning those urgent emails.

This location is the other Marine Way Starbucks in south Burnaby. Found just after the bend travelling West, it's a quick turn as the lanes open up. Parking is light and spacious - I worry that business may be light for the stores on this side. There's not much "pull" compared to the shops on the south.

Still, not one to pass up a chance to sample the coffee shops, I got a strong Sumatra that was just right for an early morning drive.

If you've travelled Kingsway near MetroTown lately, you've likely noticed the new pedestrian bridge over Kingsway. It's a great connector from the mall to the shops on the North, anchored by Best Buy. (there's also a Shoppers). If you're not at the mall, parking is a challenge (there is a small lot underground, but it's hard to find and enter), but worth it. The Starbucks at the corner was especially bright and cheery - the sun streaming in! I didn't think the outside patio would be enjoyable given the traffic in the area, but I could find no fault with my long-pour americano.

A truly commuter location along Lougheed in Port Coquitlam, the chairs and tables inside were unused the morning I dropped in. The drive thru was packed with customers grabbing their morning wake-up as they travelled West into the city.

Not sure if it was the rainy morning, or my need for more sleep, but I left unimpressed. Good thing they were serving Estima, or it would have been a wholly negative visit.