The now ubiquitous Blank Street Coffee chain frequently faces criticism for its soulless determination to remove the human element from the coffee shop experience as much as possible. Botbar Coffee, the new shop now occupying the cursed address at 666 Manhattan Avenue, takes this one step further — removing that pesky human element entirely. Botbar’s staff is entirely made up of a two-armed robot barista named “Adam.”
Rather than letting that scare you off, Botbar touts this as an advantage: “Humans can be unpredictable. Let the robot make your coffee.”
Yes, humans can be unpredictable, but how am I supposed to form a parasocial relationship with a robot barista? How can I flirt with a faceless droid? Is it unethical to withhold a tip from a robot?
That human “unpredictability” also surely refers to the fact that humans need things like bathroom breaks and sustainable wages in order to keep showing up to work, things that robots famously can go without. The robot barista can also serve 50 cups of coffee an hour.
But lest you criticize it for literally being a bloodless, heartless robot, please note that the robot is a keen patron of the arts, as it also enjoys dancing for customers, in a way which “drives organic social media content, which boosts interest and increases foot traffic to your locations,” according to the coffee shop’s website.
Eater reports that Botbar Coffee will open within the next few weeks.
To paraphrase a John Mulaney bit, because that was the revamping needed in Greenpoint! That was the squeaky wheel that needed the grease! Sure, rents in the neighborhood are at all time highs and our big Superfund site isn’t getting cleaned up for at least another decade and we still don’t have a park that was promised to us almost 20 years ago, but at least we got robots making our coffee, baby!
What a time to be alive!