Bull Run: W 34th St & Lyndale Ave S.

Bull Run coffee drawing

Bull Run Coffee Bar

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

First Impression: I’ve heard things about that place: Bull Run! Finally I’m here! Shotgun style — long and skinny. I went up to the coffee bar didn’t see a menu, so I asked. The barista directed me to a stack of worn paper stock menus. Wow, this place is expensive. There are many places to chain up your bike outside, and some nice outdoor seating. There were a lot of people, and only one seat available, right in front of the counter.

Appearance/Atmosphere: Busy. Most people are on their computers (Mac again). There’s an orange wall on one side, and red exposed brick on the other. Wooden ceiling and fans, nice hanging lights. Coffee merchandise for sale. Black trim. Concrete floors. Plain tables and chairs. Lots of bags of coffee for sale. Vibe was busy.

Music: Alright music choices. Very chill, unknown music. The two baristas plugged in their own iPods, so there were a few awkward silences, and that weird noise when you plug a device into a speaker that’s on. Because this is a smaller place, the music was overwhelming at times.

Service: Okay, not great. The staff only talked to each other, aside from asking how I was and what did I want to order. They weren’t very friendly and sat around when no one was at the counter. I like when I see them busy washing tables, or doing something. I’ve come to expect great service, and that wasn’t it.

Coffee: Bad. I usually don’t want to publicly judge something so harshly because it’s my opinion, but that’s what this blog is about. I had a cappuccino ($3.50, 8 oz). There were two good things about my drink: the cute yellow ceramic mug and blue plate it came on, and the heart design in the foam. I thought the coffee was bad. I don’t know if it was burnt, or briny, or what. I like sweeter coffee, and this was bitter. I only had a few sips and couldn’t finish it, because it made ma a little nauseous. The coffee here is really expensive: $4.25 for a small 8 oz Mocha.

Notes: I won’t be coming back here. The staff wasn’t friendly and the coffee was gross. Those two things can make or break a coffee shop for me. I could tell walking in that it was a “meh” place, but I gave it a fair shot. I liked this place less than Dogwood’s, even though it’s rated a 1/2 star better. That 1/2 star is because the layout tries to make the most of an awkward space. I had high expectations and was disappointed.

6 comments
  1. Al said:

    Your take on the Cities’ coffee scene is very refreshing! It’s personal, just like one’s relationship with their coffee. Thanks for writing honestly, especially in an environment where coffee shops and customers can get pretentious and narcissistic.

  2. jaibed said:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! And thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

  3. Stephanie said:

    I’m surprised you got a cappuccino because the real ones are bitter! Generally, you’d have to add your own sugar. I know people who add cinnamon and honey to their cappuccino’s. You could always try that. Or try a latte with flavor! I personally like hazelnut! :D

  4. jaibed said:

    I didn’t know that! I’ll have to add sugar next time. Thanks for the tip! :)

  5. Sara said:

    I’m actually bewildered by your assessment of their coffee as “bad.” It’s one of the only places (Dogwood being the other) in town where the coffee is so good that I take it with just a splash of milk and no sugar. I also don’t really understand why good service equates to doing chores when they’re not serving customers. But I agree with the other commenters — if you like coffee as dessert (mochas and the like), then you have to order that. Espressos, cappuccinos, Americanos, lattes — those aren’t supposed to be sweet drinks.

    They know the orders of regulars without asking, remember conversations we have, and have excellent coffee. Probably my favorite place in the entire city.

    • jaibed said:

      I think I didn’t like it because I’m used to sweet coffee. The only cappuccinos I’ve had were from a mix, so I wasn’t expecting the intense black coffee flavor. I hope some day I can appreciate good coffee and milk!

      I like seeing the workers busy because I always feel like there’s things to be done. However, I do know that sometimes everything that needs to be done has been. When I see workers on their phones though, I feel like they don’t want to be there and can’t wait to leave. I just would’ve like to have seen them washing the counter or straightening something. That’s my opinion though.

      Even though I didn’t want to when I was there, I’d like to go back and give it another try. I’ll get a sweet coffee this time! The workers were extremely friendly to people they knew, so it might’ve just been an off day for me. I’ll try again sometime!

      Thanks for your input!

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