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Summary:

Starbucks hit a winning formula a few years ago when they started catering to the working crowd by teaming up with T-Mobile to put WiFi hotspots in most of their shops.  The array of laptops you see in any Starbucks on a given day shows they […]

Starbucks hit a winning formula a few years ago when they started catering to the working crowd by teaming up with T-Mobile to put WiFi hotspots in most of their shops.  The array of laptops you see in any Starbucks on a given day shows they were right in doing so.  A new coffee shop has recently opened up in downtown Birmingham that looks to take that formula and push it to a new limit.  The Mobile Lounge is geared to immerse patrons in techno-services and atmosphere while dishing out good coffee and scones.  The new venture hopes that techno-savvy patrons will flock to the Lounge with their cell phones, PDAs and notebooks.

Customers at the Mobile Lounge can download ring tones and wallpaper, print pictures off their camera or cell phone, download tunes for their MP3 or iPodplayer and select a new phone or music device with the help of trained staff. They can hook a laptop computer to the ample electric outlets and watch a parade of customers come and go while enjoying a latte and scone on red leather couches.

Finally, a coffee shop that understands me.  :)  I hope the Mobile Lounge is successful and we start seeing more of this type of coffee shop.  What do you think, should there be a jkOnTheRun Coffee Emporium?

(via the Detroit News)

  1. david prescott Sunday, February 25, 2007

    I used to go the Mobile Lounge location in Bhm when it was Java Hutt and frankly I liked it better then. They tore out all the books and decorated in a style that could be described as “Modern Bordello.” I’m all up on the latest technology but this place seems to be designed so you will never be able to have a quiet moment, read anything in peace or hear yourself think while you type madly on your laptop/pda, etc. The seating area is reduced due to the huge displays of cell phones. There are kiosks on small tables to download music. Unless you’re doing that, the tables are so small as to be worthless. There might be room for a cup of coffee. I’ve yet to see anyone buy a phone but I’ve seen lots of people look for a place to sit, can’t find one, and leave. Complaints to the management fall on deaf ears if not a brazen “We don’t care what clueless dolts like you think” attitude.

    Last Saturday they added someone beating on a guitar and singing way too loud. I asked the manager what about the majority of the clientele that was trying to read or study (lots of medical students). Her response was “This isn’t a library.”

    These people are arrogant even by Birmingham standards which is saying a lot. If the new business model is to alienate your customer base and not care about the democracy of the marketplace, god help us.

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  2. Mobile Lounge was terrible. I understand what you’re saying, and it would be nice if there were a place that truly provided the “techno-services” suggested by the article. But all Mobile Lounge did was use the coffee-shop “atmosphere” to lure you in so they could try to sell you stuff. A majority of the floor space was devoted to displaying products, not serving people.

    Mobile lounge went out of business, and Java Hutt will be back on March 31.

    On a side note, those sleazy losers from NYC didn’t pay their bills, their employees, or the local couple they “bought” the business from.

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