Opinion - Accessibility vs Coolness


New member
Mar 10, 2007
Cook Islands
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There is a building that is more of a destination location - not one that you'd pass driving by and say "oh I'll have a coffee here", and I'm seriously considering it.

There are 2 open locations in the building:

OPTION 1: A ground level location, standard 10-11 ft cielings. Outside shared seating is right next to the location. Easy in / out.

OPTION 2: Upstairs location with beautiful, tremendous, vaulted cielings. Would have to go up stairs to get to the coffee shop, but could take your drinks down to the shared outdoor seating if you wanted.

Given the contrasts - accessibility vs architectural coolness, what are your opinions? Also considering that it's more of a destination location, you wouldn't be "just passing by", but more of a place to go have some good coffee and chill out. (What I'm saying here is this is not a site that Starbucks would look at from a traffic standpoint.)

What are your opinions? Surely someone else has come across a similar dilemma before.


John P

Active member
Jan 5, 2007
Salt Lake City
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It depends on a few things:

1) Will you be doing an upscale coffee house, where the second floor ambiance is warranted?
2) How is placement of signage for either location?
3) Are you confident enough in your marketing savvy to drive business to the second floor.

Personally, I like the idea of the second floor. But I would opt for the first floor. Your location (city), your offerings, and the quality of those offerings need to match up. If I took the second floor it would be only under the condition that I have first right of refusal for any first floor tenant. If they aren't a match at all, I wouldn't want them bringing a whole bunch of the wrong customers. And that is key, the wrong crowd will kill you.

First floor... safer bet.
Second floor... you need to be on top of your game to pull it off, but it could be something special--- or a disaster of epic proportions. :shock:

Tough decision


Active member
Aug 11, 2004
Des Moines, Iowa
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The Americans with Disabilities Act causes most 2nd floor shops from opening without taking in consideration for the disabled in the US.

I don't know if there is any governmental laws requiring disabled access in the Cook Islands but you may want to check it out.