While I’m normally a fan of the Java U franchise, as a homegrown alternative to evil corporate entities like Starbucks and Tim Hortons, and the wildly-varying menus of the Second Cups and Van Houttes of Quebec, I’ve got to ask: what’s up with the wifi sitch?
See, the Java U McGill location would totally be my favourite new hangout, except for one little thing: they don’t have wifi access for their customers. Sure, there’s a JAVAUMCGILL listing when I fire up my Airport, but it’s got a password on it, because it’s for the company intranet. Um, wtf? Why would you have internet access that isn’t available to your customers? That’s like saying, “Look at all our delicious chocolate brownies and treats! Sorry, they’re only for the employees.”
Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, as I understand that cafés aren’t primarily in the business of selling wifi or hooking up customers with Internet access (free or otherwise), but I do find it weird that it’s not even an option. Especially in a town that has so many cafés offering free wifi, and knowing that several other Java U locations do offer free wifi. I mean, seriously… wtf?
But anyway…. despite their lack of wifi, the pros of this café are many. It’s got:
- Super modern décor
- A large seating area with plenty of comfortable banquettes and a long bar in the middle for large groups or business meetings
- A steady stream of tourists to spy on
- Friendly staffers
- Clean bathrooms
- The excellent Java U menu, which features lots of great sandwiches, salads and gourmet coffee, AND
- It’s just a quick 20-minute bus ride from my apartment!
Unfortunately, the total lack of wifi (and outlets, now that you mention it) makes working here almost impossible. Sure, it’s a great place to disappear for a while, especially when you want to get some serious writing done, but being cut off from the Internet is pretty devastating for a freelancer who relies on the Intertubes for her business.
So, while I will probably still escape to this Java U location (among others) for a writing date with myself every once in a while, I can’t give this location the thumbs up I was hoping for. If they ever take the hint and allow customers access to their sweet sweet wifi, however, I’d be here in a heartbeat. Or 20 minutes, by bus.
ADDRESS: 124 McGill (Old Port)