1235 Western Ave Ste 5, Albany, NY | Directions 1220342.677670 -73.826854
Neighborhoods: Campus Area (University District), Campus Area
Be Warned...This Place DISCRIMINATES and HARASSES customers!
I am a doctoral student in the Albany area and frequent this place to do work while snacking. Today I was harassed by the store Manager John and a female worker who told me that their establishment was not a library. They also told me there were time-limits on how long someone could sit at a table. I have been at the location on several occasions and not once witnessed anyone being told there is a time-limit on tables. Furthermore, there are no signs that specify a time-limit on how long a customer can sit at a table. Interestingly enough, the customers in- front and back of me had been there before I arrived and had laptops and books spread out on their tables doing work. For some strange reason I was targeted, harassed and asked to leave because I had not made a purchase. I explained to the manager that I was planning to make a purchase and he asked me to leave. To make matters worse, the manager called the police to have me escorted out of the establishment.
Be warned, if you are a person of color you may be watched, harassed or even worse escorted out by police officers. I will never step foot into this establishment again. The manager was rude, raised his voice and has harassed me on two separate occasions. No human being should be targeted and harassed like I was today.
Go at night – I've been going to Uncommon Grounds for a few years at this point and there's no point in going during the day. It is constantly packed and the lines stretch out the door. I've seen people complain about the waits before and I need to ask, if you walk into a place with a line stretching over the length of the store, why the heck do you stay? Go somewhere else to get your latte or bagle if waiting is that much of a turn off. If you go in at night there's fewer crowds, the few people who work are nice enough and it's definitly not as hot since there aren't people sitting at every table. I wish they had more outlets for computers though, it can be a hassle when you've got work to do and every one is being used. The food is ok if a bit expensive and the coffee is cheap ( they'll usually give you as many refills as you want) and it's good enough to keep me coming back. Better than Statbucks coffee at least.
Not worth it – I will never go here again. I always have a less than pleasant experience. Last time I stopped in I just wanted a small latte and waited in line for about 10 minutes for it, enduring the uncomfortable heat of the place and the smell of someone's BO. When a guy finally took my order, he said "Is that all you wanted? You can order drinks down there" and pointed to another line of people further down the counter closer to the coffee machines that I was apparently supposed to stand in from the beginning. Seriously? I waited in line that long and you can't make me one drink yourself because you're not stationed at the beverage counter? Another guy finally makes me a small latte, and it is <i>surprisingly</i> small. It was served in a little 8 oz. plastic cup and was mostly foam. Very unprofessional. Yet it somehow still cost nearly $3. And wasn't that good.
To sum it up, the place has a very pretentious air about it. The ordering routine is confusing and somewhat hectic and I always get the impression that the employees are inconvenienced by me. The food is OK, but so not worth the prices. I feel like the place is just hyped up a lot. We get it. You're an independent business with an "artsy" atmosphere (which would be kind of cool), but just because you serve a lot of "counter-culture" clientele, doesn't mean it's OK for your employees to look like slobs and ignore common courtesy practices. And let me say again that your prices are ridiculous.
Get over yourself, Uncommon Grounds.
Great Atmosphere – This coffee shop is perfect for a variety of things. I personally enjoy grabbing one of their bagels and sitting down to read the paper. Its perfect for casual meetings, even business casual. But yet it has a good relaxed atmosphere. I would recommend this place to anyone. Furthermore I particularly like their bagels, not only do they normally have a great selection of bagels, they even have a huge selections of cream cheeses and spreads. I would highly recommend checking it out, for a casual coffee shop, its perfect.
Attention customers – the cellphone guy is clearly an imbecile.
get the blue tooth out of your ear and shove it up your assssshole
Personal Experience – I have been an employee at UG for some time now. I have always loved the fresh food and the great atmosphere. The staff is friendly (and I'm not just saying that). For those of you who may have an issue with us, I'd just like a few things clear....
We wear clothes that we don't mind getting dirty. We work with messy foods and coffee. It also gets extremely hot behind the counter between toasters, microwaves, and coffee machines. We just try and be comfortable while on the job without worrying about staining our clothes.
Keep in mind we all have our bad days. Most are college or high school students who have papers and issues of our own to deal with outside of work. Yes, we may be snappy at times, but don't always take it personally. If you are going out to eat, we appreciate it if you don't use your cell phone. We don't want to be a distraction to you and we need to ask you questions about your order without worrying about your conversation.
About the coffee machine, the machine is a distance away from the register. We have to heat up your milk and create foam which means we have to hold the container of milk to the steamer. We also need to keep an eye on the temperature of the milk so it doesn't scold.
Please don't criticize the entire staff because of 2 people. Keep in mind we have a lot of people on staff, some of which are not there year round (like myself). We are constantly hiring new employees, especially ones that cause an issue with our customers.
The food, coffee, and service is excellent. Just read the reviews we get in the Metroland.
The most arrogant losers I have ever had serve me. – I used to like the food and coffee, though a little overpriced, but their customer service is awful and I had a rude encounter that has driven me to never come back. Not worth the money!!
I came in after a long day of work, quitely on my cell phone, with the hopes of picking up a sandwich to go. Nobody else was waiting. I stood at the counter while the two too-over-the-hill to-be-working -at-a-bagelshop- counter staff ignored me. I walked over to one of them and politely asked to be served, and I was met with a rude "I'm not gonna interrupt your call." They said it repeatedly, like programmed robots with no human emotion whatsoever. So I left, came back in 5 minutes to ask for their names so I could tell the owner, and they refused to give them to me.
Now if they had initially said "Sorry sir, but we do not serve people who are talking on their cell phones" I would have respected that and finished my call. But to rudely ignore me and snap at me with total arrogance is in my books abysmal customer service.
I like the chicken salad, but I'm gonna take my business elsewhere.
P.S. I agree with the other review, the staff look like they all rolled out of bed.
Best coffee in the Capitla District! – This is my Monday afternoon retreat. I treat myself to coffee, sometimes a cappacino or latte and a slice of coffee cake (the best). The coffee is just right, not high test, just right. After shopping all day, it is a treat. I've never had a problem with service because I'm usually there after lunch and before dinner-no problem! I haven't seen the coffee cake there lately, I do miss that! Try a cup of regular coffee, you won't be dissappointed!
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Uncommon Grounds Coffee on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.