822 W Lake St, Minneapolis –
Full disclosure: the coffee isn’t bad, it’s simply a matter of principle.
If Sacha Baron Cohen made a Borat style movie that parodied modern hipster coffee shops, he could just shoot a 120-minute take of everyday life at Urban Bean. Everything at Urban Bean goes one step too far, whether its the drinks with names like “White Coconut Johnson”, the self-serve simple syrup kept in a Japanese whiskey bottle, or the baristas who carry themselves as if they were sulky performance artists studying under Yoko Ono. The coffee isn’t bad, but if you could choose to support any other business…why wouldn’t you.
It is okay to be pretentious, but this place just doesn’t make sense. At a surface level, everything is clean and modern – I like that part. What I don’t like is how a close look at any part of the Lake Street location shows how silly the place really is.
There is a silly paint by number bunny mural behind the desk, a silly chandelier with animal skulls, and the aforementioned specialty drinks with silly names. Really, the whole place is silly.
Every coffee shop attracts its own unique crowd. It is just unfortunate that this place attracts ironic hipsters with sad faces and enough money to spend $5-6 on classic drinks like the White Chocolate Johnson or Freddy Mercury.
Like I said, the coffee is pretty good. Four Barrel beans, the whole nine yards. The to-go cups also have a pretty neat design on them, but that is beside the point.
It’s just too bad that the specialty drinks have silly names and make you pay for it. I’m really caught up on that.
The Subjective X Factor:
I can live with pricey coffee and a modern, hipster aesthetic. There is just something about this place that rubs me the wrong way. It’s like a library that only has Akira fan-fiction: there might be a place for it, but it just isn’t for me.
We’ve all heard stories of people that quit drinking via an epiphany sparked by looking at the clientele surrounding a bar. You realize how low you’ve sunk, and you just can’t do it anymore. Substitute that feeling of self-loathing and disgust with unabashed hatred, and that is my experience with Urban Bean.
Final Grade: 2.03/5