You knew it was coming...with the Market House now reopened as the Starbucks location in Disneyland, I thought it would be fun to compare it to the original Disney theme park Starbucks, FF&P Cafe, across the esplanade in DCA. I want to know what the fan community prefers, if they prefer any. I know the two locations are designed to fit into different themes, but a comparison can still be made in how the theme is executed. Let's begin with the original, Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe on Buena Vista St. in Disney California Adventure.
Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe (or as it's often just called, including the building signage, FF&P Cafe) sits at the end of BVS in an area known as Carthay Circle. The cafe has a beautiful facade that goes from simple brickwork on one side (near the quiet courtyard with the oak tree outside of Trolley Treats) to a more Mission-revival inspired facade, complete with awning covered outdoor seating facing the circle, trolley tracks, and fountain. The facade also has a great wall mural, an even better neon sign, and plenty of stained glass. There is one Starbucks logo, a small, bronze piece with old logo on brick facade, and two very subtle bronze Starbucks signs on the mission-revival facade.
The inside is more Craftsman inspired with warm woodwork EVERYWHERE, stain glass, and artisan tile work. The dining area is open, which I know some here dislike. This openness, however, is very reminiscent of cafes, diners, cafeterias, and restaurants in the 1920s/30s (I recommend searching the Pig "n Whistle Restaurant in Hollywood or just 1930s cafeteria or something to see). There is booth seating, table seating, counter seating looking out the window (this is the best), and the restaurant is kept bright and airy with several decorated skylights and lighting fixtures.
The restaurant has a deep and fun, albeit unnecessary, backstory. The walls are dotted with black and white photos of a trio of female musicians known as the Silver Lake Sisters who, according to the backstory, opened this restaurant. The decor is simple, but has some great pieces (I love the original poster work for the Silver Lake Sisters, especially the ToT one, and the vintage coffee grinders and bags behind counters).
I truly love this location. It is perfect in so many ways. I am a lover of all things coffee and just love the vintage pieces in the restaurant. I also love the map of CA showing where the sisters have performed, with correlating old coffee mugs for each location, showing that these girls were, like me, lovers of coffee. Nothing beats sitting at the counter or outside on the patio with a BVS Bugle looking out onto Carthay Circle and BVS, with the trolley clanging by, Five and Dime performing, and fountain burbling. The location is great and this place has really become a "spot" in DCA for me. Is it just me or would it be wonderful to see them actually have the Silver Lake Sisters as a roaming music act outside the restaurant. I know this was originally a plan/idea and maybe with Minnie's Fly Girls now cancelled (horrible news btw) this can become reality. I also lament the loss of hot food items in this location
Now to Main Street...the Market House has just reopened as the newest Starbucks location in the resort amid much controversy (much more than FF&P, that's for sure). I have yet to visit this new location, so I am judging on pictures alone. The location of the Market House remains the same as it was before. It's in a lovely green and brick Victorian storefront on the corner of the first block on the eastside of Main Street. Much of the signage has remained the same on the building (with some changing of wording), with the old Blue Ribbon Bakery coffee sign being moved to this new facade (I'm not a huge fan of this sign and idk why or what it is about it). There are two Starbucks signs lining the entrance and two old Starbucks logos in the windows. I absolutely LOVE the new window displays for the Market House...vintage coffee grinders, coffee bags, coffee plants...they're truly great. That's one thing Main Street really excels at, a balanced and tasteful mix of vintage props and merchandise in their window displays. I was going to say I wish FF&P has window displays, but after seeing the mess they've made of all the other windows on BVS, no way, it's better without.
The main part of store...I don't love it and I don't hate it. It's beautiful in it's own right, but doesn't compare, at least for me, to the recently remodeled stores on Main Street. I'm all for a collective of design styles in a land and feel it is necessary (I appreciate recent efforts to go beyond just Victorian on Main Street by adding touches of other styles like Art Nouveau and Edwardian; BVS works so well, IMO, because it blends Mission-revival, Art Deco, Craftsman, and Streamline Moderne into one collective, like how it would really be, instead of just sticking to one). I guess I'm confused as to what style it is. It is definitely old timey, but I think it needs some more decoration in the design. The light fixtures are certainly the highlight in this part of the building. They are beautiful. I also like the menus. The queue is a unavoidable evil, and while I appreciate it them trying to "beautify it" by making it wooden and adorned, it seems quite overwhelming in the space. The seating is lacking, but I love that they kept the checkers and party line phones (which have all new audio btw), although I never once thought they would disappear. I guess I'm a bit disappointed in this space because it isn't the great Victorian space I imagined them doing. I do feel it is better than the previous Market House design and the product is indefinitely better.
The Book Rest (stupid name) seating area, on the other hand, looks beautifully charming and has the look that I wish the rest of the Market House had. The stove is a perfect fit in this space, and, to me, makes more sense in it. This area is beautifully designed and detailed. It is cozy and charming and I love that is an offshoot of Market House and doesn't have its own entrance. It reminds me of visiting old towns and visiting a little coffee shop that has a reading area/bookstore attached to it (there is one like this in Solvang). This is small town America. I really wish the whole remodel had this same "nuance" as the Book Rest.
With the Market House I am only judging off of pictures. I am excited to visit it and really take it all in. At this point however, I would have to say that I definitely prefer the theming and implementation of it at FF&P Cafe. How about you guys?