Tynan Coffee & Tea Owners Respond To Recent Concerns


As Tynan Coffee & Tea marks its first month in business, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you to our guests. We are grateful to receive so much input regarding our new shop.  From the outset, we have sought feedback to improve the customer experience and we appreciate the many thoughtful and constructive comments that we have received.  A number of important points were made in the recent Prince of Petworth posting and the corresponding comments and we would like to update you on our efforts:

Customer Service:  This is an extremely important issue for us and we feel strongly that we have an experienced and friendly staff.  As with any new endeavor our approach is evolving as we attempt to provide an enjoyable experience.  We will continue to work towards providing exceptional service to each and every one of our guests.

Customer Feedback: We encourage all of our guests to provide feedback to us at the [email protected] email address that is posted throughout the shop and on our website (www.tynancoffeeandtea.com ).  We check this account daily and make every effort to respond to each person.  Your input is extremely beneficial to us and we ask that you continue sending your comments and suggestions.

WiFi Policy:  A number of questions have been raised about our internet policy and we apologize for any confusion.  We are very happy to offer free internet service.  In order to provide the strongest signal, we password protect access so that usage is available to only those in our shop.  While guests do need to request a second ticket from a barista when their initial hour expires, we do not require a second purchase.

Based in large measure on guest feedback, we have revised our WiFi policy as follows:

Monday through Friday:  Free service is available all day

Saturday and Sunday: Free service is available from 3pm to close

While we are gratified by how many people enjoy being in our space, we felt compelled and were urged by many of our guests to limit WiFi on the weekends in order to accommodate other customers looking for space to sit and eat.

Lighting: We agree with many of the comments that we received regarding the lighting.  Just last week we replaced all overhead lights with softer bulbs.  We hope the change provides a warmer environment.

We have truly enjoyed becoming a part of the Columbia Heights community and we look forward to continuing to grow and improve.  Our goal is to provide an outstanding customer experience, both through our offerings and the environment that we create in our space.  We sincerely hope that you will stop in for some coffee, tea or food and please do not hesitate to let us know what you think.

Jim & Brian Sullivan

Tynan Coffee & Tea
1400 Irving Street, NW
14th & Irving Streets at the Columbia Heights Metro

23 Comment

  • I understand the owners have a delicate balance bewteen responding to criticism about poor customer service. They don’t want to appear to be deaf to customer complaints, yet, they don’t want to seem to trash their employees in public.

    Unfortunately, their response above seems to do neither and comes across (at least the “customer service” issue) as corporate blah, blah, blah… The rest sounds ok.

    I wish them well, and find it fascinating how business-customer realations are being changed in the age of the internet!

  • If you dont like it dont go there its that simple. People need to stop crying about everything.

  • My thoughts exactly re service/internet, Jay’O! Amazing.

  • Didn’t they read the Wash Post story? What are they going to do about the murder and crime in C.H.?

  • I read and (eventually) commented on the original post, but now I guess that it wasn’t among this blog’s better moments. “Somewhat hysterical person gets bad latte” doesn’t really drive the best kind of conversation into daylight, and even when it does generate some good stuff, it also gets you dragged (unfairly) into this business with the Post, which produces another megathread of not much interest.

    But if the original complaint led inevitably to this — to longish and completely predictable letter about about customer service and good lighting — then it would have been better to leave it unposted.

  • I have enjoyed the atmosphere overall in the shop and believe it is an asset to the community. My only constructive criticisms to date, other than lighting which it sounds like is being rectified:

    — for a breakfast place, it would be great to offer fresh squeezed OJ and/or fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.
    — I had the quiche once and it was not good — tasted like it has been sitting around for quite awhile. I’d either make sure it is fresh and top quality or not offer it at all.
    — waffles on the other hand are great.

  • I think it is great that they pay attention to this blog and their customers via this medium. The fact that they are trying to improve their store due to a few complaints is great nice!

  • “Somewhat hysterical person gets bad latte”

    Also, insane people are amazing in the sack. Once you’ve banged crazy, you don’t go back to normal.

  • Mark,

    I am confused – my guess is if the owner’s hadn’t responded you would have said that they were out of touch and didn’t care about their customers. When they do respond you call it long and predictable. From my read they addressed a lot of the problems people have mentioned (lots of comments on lighting) and it seems like they have even fixed some based on complaints. Isn’t that you want? Do you think Starbucks would take the time to respond and to listen to its customers?

    I have been to Tynan and my biggest complaint it how busy it is on the weekends (probably says something about how much people like it). I appreciate that the owners are at least listening to customers and trying.

  • Ugh, the changed the lighting?? One of the the things I liked about that place was that it was one of the few coffee shops that did not look like a cave.

    And although I enjoy Tynan I hope they don’t continue to make knee jerk decisions based on a few disgruntled (and obviously overly entitled) customers.

  • I agree with Sandy. Bravo Tynan.

  • “Also, insane people are amazing in the sack.”

    gotta agree with monkeyrotica! had this truly insane girl once and I held onto her crazy ass as long as I could, cuz she was a nut in the sack! Best action of my life, no doubt!

    I recommend at least one – or more – in your life, depending on your tolerance for loco BS!

  • Sandy – The issue is that if you’re a business and you decide to engage critics online, you should do it using the same online “culture”. By that, I mean that Blogs like this are know for their frank, direct talk culture. Giving a corporate responses like:

    “We will continue to work towards providing exceptional service to each and every one of our guests. ”


    “This is an extremely important issue for us”

    Sounds a lot like calling corporate Verizon:

    “Your call is very important to us, please continue to hold…”

    Of course that can’t come out and rip the former latte customer, or say their staff stinks (nor should they). But there is a lot of room between these two extremems for a more thoughtful response to the central customer service issue. I for one thought if they were willing to wade in they would be willing to be authentic and a little more sincere…

  • Good for them for tightening the wi-fi policy. Lots more businesses need to do this. I’ve never understood how an establishment can stay in business when customers occupy space for hours on end.

  • People seriously don’t have anything better to do with their time than overanalyze every sentence to determine how “corporate” it sounds?

  • Sandy, the post from Tynan, which I would describe as “frothy”, was akin to a full page ad appearing without any comment on the front page of a publication that, rightly or wrongly, had produced some negative publicity for the business.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth regarding Tynan. I have never purchased from them and have no opinion about the facts of the original complaint. I really have nothing to say about their responsiveness either.

    My interest is in the editorial qualities of this blog, which I enjoy very much and which is, itself, a business in transition. Each successive front page post about the “hand cream latte incident” has been of a lower quality than the last. I hope we’ve seen the last of it.

    Also, if qualities of the initial post — a poorly written, factually-suspect complaint over things that many commenters believed to be trivial — led us to this last one, then maybe the blog should avoid that kind of post in the future.

  • Will Tynan’s barristers continue to sentence disgruntled customers and their 1,837 word gripes to 2 scoops of adderall in their coffee flavored milk shakes?

  • “He’s a top barrister!!!” (Bridget Jones Diary)

  • When can i get those “Hand cream Latte’s”????
    Or should I find a crazy girl as mentioned above.
    /Sincerely, Happy ending Esspresso drinker.

  • Listen up people! Give the Sullivan lads an opportunity to make changes and adjustments in a new businss. Sit down! Be quiet! Think! And then go to the coffee shop and try it out.

  • I went there on Veterans’ Day, and they were out of espresso roast, which kind of makes about 3/4 of their drinks menu hard to execute. Apparently they’d been out for a couple days. I overheard one of the baristas telling another one to just use their regular roast. I’m sure it doesn’t make that much a difference, but it just seems like Tynan doesn’t pay much attention to detail as far as food and beverages. Gotta love the All Day Waffles though.

  • Funny how we have yet to hear even a peep from the shop’s namesake, Tynan Johnson.

  • PoP: While I don’t have a strong opinion about the original post, I like this Micro-level spotlight on a local business. Discussions like this also should be helpful for the very business owners being discussed. Keep it up PoP!

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