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N-Judah Business Review: The Duboce Park Cafe!

When the weather starts to turn as nice as it did today, I just can't stand to be cooped up inside with work. So, I decided to spend a few hours at the Duboce Park Cafe, instead of my usual cafes, mostly because I wanted to give the place another visit before I wrote a review.

Overall, it's OK. Most cafes in good locations can get away with being rather mediocre in the coffee department, simply because It's The Only Place Near The (insert landmark here). DPC, being right next to Duboce Park, could have easily slid into that category. However, the coffee here is actually quite good, and the bagel I had was great - most times a "bagel" in San Francisco is nothing more than a hamburger bun with a hole in the middle - not here, though!

In general, it's not a bad place to sit and work or read for a while. You can sit inside and use the (unreliable) wifi - ironically I had to write this review at Yancy's Saloon instead because of it - or you can sit outside with a view of the N-Judah, the dogs at the park, and whatnot, all in the shade. And, being so close to Duboce Park, they have a water bowl for dogs and a place to tie 'em up while you go inside to order something.

A note on service: there's been quite a bit of discussion onYelp about the quality of the service here. I've never had a problem with the service, and no doubt they went through some growing pains like any new business might have. The only irritant we cafe patrons had today was the annoying guy sitting at the counter, being a bitchy drama diva about something he never made quite clear, but the staff there were pleasant enough.

Overall, aside from the flaky wifi, this is a pleasant stop on the N-Judah. Check it out, and let us know what you think!

Comments

I have a new job which involves working from home 99% of the time, so I look forward to your reviews of places along the N Judah line. My condo is undergoing major work right now, so sometimes I have to escape the noise and dust for a while.

I have a question about cafe etiquette for those of us with mobile offices. I certainly wouldn't go somewhere for 2 hours without buying something at regular intervals, but when am I overstaying my welcome? Some would say the minute I walk in with my laptop, I'm sure.

I ask because one nice Sunday afternoon I wanted to have a latte and work a crossword. I tried 3 different places near home and all were packed. I took the coffee to go, but it wasn't the same as enjoying it while it is piping hot.

I've gone to the main library a few times, but you technically can't drink there, and you certainly can't leave anything unattended for even a second, so a cafe is a little better most of the time.

@Mike: Actually the Chron just did a piece about people on the go using wifi in places like coffee houses (and darnit I can't find the link I saved for this subject!) and some of these issues.

Personally I try to buy something at least every 1.5 hours, and if I get a refill I pay full price instead of the refill price as a goodwill gesture. And I also look at how busy the place is - for example, Yancy's is not too busy from 2-4 so I don't feel so bad hanging out there, but if it gets more full and I'm just having club soda, I leave.

I've noticed as a laptop user that so long as I employ some good sense and respect, cafe owners don't mind. I am often downtown so I end up at Golden Gate Perk (which is really nice as they have great Korean food, and a giant plasma tv showing movies with the captioning on) and as a semi-regular they know that I'm going to spend some cash, and not make a 1 dollar coffee serve as rent for 7 hours.

Found it! Buried in a folder of "to be sorted" links

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/03/11/MNGKKOCBA645.DTL

Mike:

I agree that the best rule of thumb is not to hang out *forever* if there are a lot of people waiting. I'd buy something at least every hour, myself. I mean, if you are there reading or something, would you stay for 2-3 hrs, only buying one coffee?

More important than the time spent, imho, is to avoid creating an "office environment" of what is supposed to be a relaxing oasis--the coffee shop. Most people don't go there so that they can feel like they are back in a cubicle-- so have some mercy on them. In other words-- no annoying office cell phone calls for everyone to hear. I'd take it outside if a phone call if *truly* necessary.

@Greg: Thanks, that was an interesting article.

@meinWestAdd: Thanks for those tips. I agree about the phone calls. I am not much of a cell phone user and find those who blab loudly very annoying.

I went to Cafe Flore today to escape the noise and heat and proceeded to spill my coffee everywhere. Not a great way to kick off cafe working!

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