Saturday, April 5, 2008

Prana coffeeshop in Ridgewood NJ is AWFUL

I just had the worst treatment I have ever experienced in a coffeeshop. I was working in Ridgewood, NJ at a new-ish coffeeshop, Prana. I have always loved the atmosphere there and frequently like to sit and draw, write, whatever. Tonight, I sat to write, checking to make sure what time they close, 10 PM.
I can't really tell who was an actual employee or who was just hanging out with the guy working there. Anyway, at about 9:15, they start shutting down. They take in the furniture from outside. I hear another customer ask what time they close, they say 10. I'm working and listening to music. One girl walks around and starts shutting down all the TVs, leaning very obviously over me to signal that they're getting ready to close. It's not even 9:30, but whatever. I was always taught that the customer should receive the same treatment no matter if they come in when you open or five minutes before you close, so shutting the tvs and having me sit with patio furniture around me was annoying.
Then they turn off the lights while I'm still sitting there. First they start dimming them, annoyingly so. Dim, bright, dim, bright. I was so engrossed in what I was writing, I hardly noticed. Then I can hear them exclaim "her!" in spanish (or portugese)toward me, and laugh uncontrollably. Then the lights go down...a LOT.
I got up and walked back to the guy and one girl sitting in the back of the shop and I told him how what they were doing was so not nice. I told them I could understand what they were saying and that it was really a terrible way they're behaving. I said, you know if you wanted me to leave, you could have just asked me to leave and I would have gone home. What you're doing is just terrible. I know the owner (which I actually do, I met her when it first opened a few months ago) and I said this has always been one of my favorite places to go. The guy snottily said, "You can stay." I said, I don't know if I ever want to come back here again. He said, "We close at 9:30 today". I reminded him that I just heard him tell another customer that they close at 10, and uh, it's written on the door.
What a crappy place. I'm looking forward to 1) telling as many people as I can about this horrific treatment 2) calling the owner tomorrow. There are three other coffeeshops in Ridgewood that will get my business now (including two Starbucks. I was trying to help out the local shop- screw me for trying!)

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