Im not sure whats been happening at three layers lately, but I have to say that the management of the cafe seems intent on closing it down.
The place has always been a bit pricy, but not to the point where you would complain about it, after all most people want to support a small business, especially in an emerging area like springfield.
You just realize that you are paying a 'support' tax when you go to it, and you hand over the extra dollar per item that you wouldnt have to pay elsewhere in order to do a good deed. Kind of like giving the extra change at Publix or buying a three dollar hershey's chocolate bar for the baseball team.
Metrojacksonville's public meetings used to be at Three Layers on Tuesday Night, and we all paid ten dollars for a soda and a small bowl of chili or a single dessert or whatever, but we had to stop having them there when our meetings were pre empted by very loud karaoke and we were told that metrojacksonville people could meet during karaoke, but we had to go to the back room where there is no service, bus our own tables, sweep the floors, and reset the chairs or we would have to pay a rental fee. It was just too much. Anywhere between 5 and 22 people would show up paying superpremium prices for the fare at three layers, but if we wanted to meet during the hours in which the employees were singing karaoke, there would be an additional charge.
Instead we opted for Pizza Palace in San Marco, where there is a full dinner deal for 8 dollars, plenty of comfortable seating, and no one putting a speaker literally on our table and blasting old madonna tunes through a crappy amp on a portable sound system.
It made all the difference, and our meeting, which generated between 50 and four hundred dollars in sales each week is now welcomed and anticipated by the gracious san marconians.
I live in springfield, and love Shawn and Jeff, and have a real sympathy for the travails of cafe ownership in springfield, so even though we had to (regretfully) cancel our meetings there, I still frequent the joint.
I got the surprise of my life today while grabbing a regular cup of coffee.
A large cup of regular coffee comes to about three dollars. (2.77 to be exact, but you are expected to tip for the counter service, and so it actually comes to four dollars even, if you tip a dollar on principle as I usually do) In the rest of America, even the chintziest places provide one free refill, and most simply refill the cup. However, the manager of Three Layers has instituted a new rule in which every refill on coffee is a dollar.
So for four dollars, you can get a cup of regular coffee at three layers, plus the traditional refill.
This is ridiculous and is having the anticipated effect on the three layers crowd.
Where the place used to be busy all the time, with people in the joint online, reading, chatting and the like, now the place is nearly deserted everytime I go in.
People are willing to pay a premium on products if there is something that draws them, and for the first couple of years, the energy of other springfielders hanging out at the place gave the cafe a 'third space' status that people were willing to pay a little bit more for.
But with that energy mostly missing on a daily basis, the only time that the place is hopping is when there is a scheduled event. Even Goliath Flores drew a mediocre crowd today, despite his neighborhood popularity and the wonderful weather.
When I asked staff about the egregious gouging, they told me that everyone has been bitterly and vocally complaining, but that the management refuses to take the word of mere staff for it.
Ive spent a lot of years in and out of the hospitality business, and I have rarely seen this kind of situation work out.
Hopefully someone corrects this nonsensical management strategy, as three layers is literally the last place left in the neighborhood where there is a semi comfortable and appealing environment.