Well I wasn't a frequent shopper at this one, but I'll still be warning other people about it now.
There is a bakery called Larsen's that seems to be suffering from the "under new management" curse. It is a very old, well-established bakery that is well known in it's Scandinavian neighborhood and attracted lots of senior regulars. Baked goods were good and prices were...well not cheap but not ridiculous either, and they had half off day old deals.
A while back they were closed for renovations. I was in the neighborhood last month (I'm there for an appointment about every 3 months) and saw they had reopened. I went in and at first was pretty impressed. They had opened things up and created more space. There were far more places to sit and the ceiling was raised. It was definitely more "trendy coffee/cafe"-ish. Shiny and modern, t.v. screens, etc. But I left very disappointed. First of all, they had no board (they had before I don't know why they didn't just keep it - it's not like it would have clashed with the decor) listing their products and prices, not even their drinks. Only some of the items in the bakery cases had prices on them. Same with labels. Yes I can point but I would like to know the name of what I am ordering. The worst thing though was the service. There were two young girls working there and they just seemed to radiate an aura of either ineptitude and/or indifference. They were so slow with only a few customers that I shudder to think what it would be like with a crowd!
It's really hard to explain how they were. It was like they were...ghosts haunting the place. It was quiet because they made so little conversation with the customers or each other. They just seemed to wander around the back doing...I don't know what. When I went back up to the counter to ask for a bag (I had gotten a plate to eat my pastry there but couldn't finish it), the girl on front register (the other was working the breads towards the back I guess) was down fussing with - I guess it was the coffee supplies in the cupboard behind the counter? For a long time. She actually turned and looked over her shoulder at me, made eye contact...and turned back to the cupboard.
Um...lets see - wait on customers or fuss with supplies you should already have organized? This shouldn't be a hard decision!
There was a man (maintanence? who knows!) who kept wandering in and out from the back, ostensibly to do work of some kind. He wasn't dressed like them and didn't look at or speak to any of us.
These girls really just gave off a horrible vibe of "we don't know what we're doing."
And the worst part? I bought a chocolate chip cookie. It was raw in the middle.
Not soft. Not a bit undercooked. Raw
. As in, I could take the shiny dough and re-roll it and bake it myself. I thought about complaining but it didn't seem worth it and I didn't think they would care. I actually did
take the cookie home and re-bake it in my own oven, after which it was perfectly good but I shouldn't
have had to do that!
It's just not an enjoyable place anymore, and the food doesn't even make the poor service worth putting up with. I hope they turn things around, especially after they obviously sunk a good amount of money into a remodel.
But until I hear otherwise, I'm not going back. On a side note, I was waiting at the bus stop across the street a bit later, and I overheard a women there talking to her friend about how bad the service at the place was and how she wouldn't go back there so...yeah sadly it's not just me.