If you have visited the Starbucks on Lake Street on a weekend this summer, you know that word “pandemic” is not an overstatement. Swarms of bicyclists flood the street, taking over the sidewalk and road, then move to the chairs outside Starbucks, where they remain for quite some time.

Nearly every weekend these bikers have taken nearly every one of the seats outdoors for at least an hour. Other customers who would also like to enjoy the outdoors and the nice weather before another Chicago winter descends upon us are forced to take their beverages elsewhere or to frequent a different establishment entirely.

One is left ponder why we should be forced to go to a different coffee shop. In truth, the bikers are paying customers who, like everyone else, wish to take advantage of the area and have every right to do so. However, it is entirely inconsiderate to take so many seats from other paying costumers for such a long span of time. It is not as if it is a small group that takes only two tables. No, it is a large group that takes every available seat.

Not only is this a nuisance for the residents of Oak Park, but also for tourists. The other day, as I was headed to Starbucks, I saw that every seat was taken once again, and heard a group of people looking dejected at the crowded tables outside the store. A person at the head of group, told them, “Well, that’s all right. There are a few other coffee shops we can go to around here before we head to the Frank Lloyd Wright homes.”

If any members of this group are reading this article, I ask you to please be more mindful of your fellow Oak Parkers, the business that Starbucks is losing, and the tourists that frequent our town. Perhaps consider meeting at a member’s house and having coffee and breakfast there, or spending less time in the seating area.

Your fellow, caffeine-deprived Oak Parker,
Jennifer Klein

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