Monday, July 21, 2008

Sparks Will Fly...

between Starbucks and Esparks, of course. I stumbled upon this chain copying coffee house / yogurt place while walking in Elmhurst, Queens. As soon as I looked at the branding and environment through the window, I knew it was a knock-off Sbux. With about 8 locations mainly in the boroughs, I am curious how far this will take off. Apparently their first store, which was in Astoria, was opened early last year, but is now closed. I have yet to dive into the alternate dimension of Starbucks, but I will sometime soon, with a review of their drinks and hospitality. Everything looks like a mirror image, from the pastry case layout, to the lighting and furniture. Their equivalent to a Frappaccino is "Congelato", I pronounce it Con Gelato, not sure if that's right or not.
From what i've read, the cool feature is free wi-fi. I have heard very mixed reviews, not sure who to trust, but soon enough I will post my own opinion. So far, I am starting off with a negative view of them, because of their bad grammar and spelling on their website. It may just be me, but if you are trying to mimic and huge branded company like Starbucks, you best come correct!
Here's the bonus, not only are they a coffee shop, but they have frozen yogurt as well! Hmm... I wonder which big yogurt chain they are going after, here's a hint, the 'other' side of Esparks coffee has a name, and that name is Parksberry. Park, Pink, Park, Pink, Pink, Park, Park, Ahh!
I do give them props for bootlegging two well-known chains into one tiny shop. Coffee and yogurt though? Blech!
I don't know about you guys, but I much rather prefer a naked mermaid as my logo on the cup!
Has anyone had a positive or negative experience with Esparks? Do tell!

Site: Esparks
Image: Astoria NYC

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