Redmond >Food Stores > Victor's Celtic Coffee Co
Owner offensive - stopped going for at least a year. I used to go here up to three mornings a week before work, grab a beautiful coffee read a chapter. It was my way of dedicating a bit of time to reading something for me before heading of to work. One morning I needed to do some prep for work, popped out my laptop and did some work while having my coffee. Same treatment as others have described, Walter came and told me I was out of time - laptops were limited to one hour. A group that meets there often had sat there for longer chatting and were not told to move along, just me. And there were empty tables!. Now I go to Kirkland Kahili Coffee. They welcome you and your laptops and your friends (plugins and wireless!) and there coffee is even better. Victor's? Why bother! I have gone back when Walter is not there, and found it very pleasant.
Good coffee, but the owner barked at me for no reason. See ya.. I was a loyal Victor's customer until last weekend. I strolled in on a Saturday afternoon to get some coffee - the usual routine. The shop was less than half full. There was no line at the counter. I ordered a tall Americano. So, I am patiently holding my 16 month old son (I can't set him down, or else he would bother other customers), and it is taking like 10 minutes to make the Americano (not sure why - it's like a 20 second drink to prepare, but that's another story). Since my arms were getting tired, I leaned on a nearby table. The owner barked at me, telling me that the table was for people to sit and eat, and that "I was going to break it". Come on, man. That's weak. It's back to Peet's for me.
They might as well put meters on the table.....
I was a loyal Victors patron. Well, that is until ownership changed and Walter took over. Usually the word "Hurry" doesn't apply to my visions of cute neighborhood coffee shops. These days; however, Walter watches over the tables like a hawk to ensure that his dollar/minute ratio stays in his favor. Recently, I was waiting for my honey to arrive, with cash (they still don't accept credit cards, to me just another example of prioritizing his "miserly-ness" over the customers' convenience.) I sat at a table to wait, there were plenty available - yet he unnervingly stood and stared at me as if I were wearing an orange prison suit with ankle chains on. I honestly think he was trying to scare me off. But why, Why would I go to a coffee shop to sit there by myself without a book or anything and stare at the door? Perhaps because I was expecting what happened. Moments later, my cash-bearing dearest arrived and we ate breakfast - but boy you could tell he was worried he might not make money. It's too bad they don't communicate the term "hurry" to their slow-as-frozen-molasses staff. Oh, the irony.
Also, Dogs used to be welcome to sit outside with you. Apparently, smokers still are, but sweet mutts who won't give you cancer are not.
Also very disappointing was when I asked Walter for help picking out some coffee beans to take home. When I asked, "what would you recommend? We like a medium bodied earthy flavor for our morning cup." His reply, "any of them. but you get a better deal if you buy a bigger bag." Wow, how helpful.
Asked to leave after 1 hour. I was recently enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning with a friend, catching-up over steamy cups of espresso at Victor's Celtic Coffee Co in downtown Redmond. Our pleasant morning ended abruptly when we were informed by the owner that they "needed our table (because) there are customers waiting". Apparently 2 cups of coffee at $3.50 per cup only buys you one hour of table time at Victor's. Sure, the coffee house was busy. But my expectations in visiting a coffee house is to be able to sit, relax, enjoy my cup of coffee, visit with friends or enjoy my book or newspaper, and enjoy the aroma of the espresso. I am a supporter of individual coffee houses and restaurants. I love the individuality and "small town feel" and had frequently recommended Victor's coffee house to friends and co-workers. It saddens me that I will now be rescinding those recommendations and going elsewhere for my coffee dates.
Great coffee - weak pastries.. Very cozy atmosphere and I've always had excellent lattes. Breakfast sandwich is passable, the rest of the pastries are pretty bad. This place could be so much better - get the pastries from Pomegrante up the street, Walter! The best thing to eat here are Walter's waffles that he makes on Sat and Sun but only when they are relatively hot off the press in the early morning - divine. Don't bother with the old ones they stick in the pastry case - dried out and a shadow of the real thing. Also it's cash only.
Walter times your visit!. I have been going to Victor's at least once a week since moving to the area 8 months ago now. After today's experience, I will never go back. Since reading the reviews I am not suprised by what I experienced this morning. I had my study books with me and Walter approached and told me that they have a "study limit" of one hour, and that he had been watching me, and that I had ten minutes left until I needed to leave. I was shocked! I had never been told off before (even after 4hrs of studying) AND to know that I had been "timed". I was not even half way through my coffee.. yet I was to leave! Also, what demise does that leave for studiers over gossipers who can sit there for more than one hour? Also, I usually have a coffee, fresh OJ, and a scone.. (nearing 10 dollars) and yet am told to leave after one hour simply because I have books. For all Walter knew, I was leaving within the hour anyway - but to be rude and tell me to leave when he saw I was still drinking HIS coffee... I just found it absurd! Even for a pick up and run coffee, Victor's has lost my business - and my "hour-long" meetings with study groups.. easily bringing in $60... forget it Walter, it's going to Starbucks where no-one bothers you how long you have been there - nor judges between those with books and those with mouths! Dissaponted as the coffee is great and we like supporting family businesses not giants!
Love their coffee. I've been coming here for years, before the change of hands. The coffee is so good. Chai is wonderful too...
Victor Harding does everything but grow the beans for his little Eastside shop..
Enjoy the old-fashioned flavor created by the antique furniture and wide-planked pine wood floors. Victor Harding roasts the coffee beans himself, carefully watching over the process. Baked goods are specially chosen from eight different bakeries. While mornings bring in commuters, the live music on weekend evenings draws a heavily teenaged crowd.
Great coffee, bummer about Walter. Victor's used to be a part of the standard morning routine for both me and my wife. I'm sure we've spent thousands of dollars there over the years. We put up with Walter because we liked the coffee and the staff. But after an experience where Walter was rude to my wife (easily one of Victor's most loyal customers) and kicked her out of the restaurant, we haven't been back. I can only hope that either (a) word will get around, business will drop off, and Walter will be forced to sell the business to somebody that cares about customer service; or (b) Walter will apologize. If either of those happens, we're back in a second. As lots of other folks around here have said, it does indeed have the best coffee on the eastside.
Downhill fast.... Well, sadly I report that my experience with Victor's hasn't been top notch for quite sometime now. I've been going there just about daily for nearly a year and half now and it has been in a slow decline ever since my first visit. Though the coffee itself is usually better than most big named chains the service is increasingly deteriorating. With the implementation of the new computerized cash register it seemed that only few knew how to work it and they have all quit recently. Plus I have also experienced the scorched or lukewarm milk and half toasted breakfast sandwiches as well (usually thanks to Walter). My biggest gripe however is the fact that I too have heard from former employees about poor management on behalf of Walter. It was easy to see that things weren't the same there in the recent past. Once friendly and cheerful baristas no longer wore smiles on their faces and chatted about their weekends but instead reported they were no longer to socialize with customers and just make the coffee. It's too bad really, because what once was a bright start to my day is no longer an option, I'd rather go to Starbucks where I know that customer service is high on the priority list.
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