I've been to my fair share of coffee shops in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota areas. B'Towne Coffee Company is by far the worst of the bunch. Not only was the coffee tasteless, but also absent was the charm of a local coffee shop. Not sure why this company calls themselves a coffee company when their primary focus is obviously food.
The coffee was very bland and weak. Not sure about the other drinks, but my Americano was less than average. In fact, I ended up tossing half of it into the trash, which I never do.
To top it off, only plastic Dixie cups were available. Serving coffee in a nice mug is one of the highlights of visiting an individual coffee shop over a Starbucks, so this was a big let down.
Surprisingly, the coffee drinks are not that cheap. A medium Americano will cost you $3 (more than Starbucks!). With prices like these, you would think that they would train their employees how to make a proper drink!
In addition to Espresso drinks, B'Towne offers tea and smoothies. The food menu includes several sandwich options: Hot Pressed Cuban, Chicken Salad, Italian wrap, and more. Sides include black beans and rice and chicken chilli. A few light pastries and sandwiches are available during breakfast hours.
I cannot vouch for the food, however, based on my coffee experience, I would never try any of their food.
Service was pretty bland, just like the coffee. Absent was the friendly service you traditionally experience at a local coffee shop.
The decor was loud (mostly bar type decor) and a horrible smoke smell permeated the air. Not the type of atmosphere I am seeking in a coffee shop. Whereas I normally find myself so relaxed that I don't want to leave the coffee shop, B'Towne was the exact opposite experience: I couldn't wait to get out.
B-Towne advertises their company as a coffeehouse, however, the decor resembles a sports bar/deli much more so than a coffee shop. In addition, the barista who made the drinks did not seem happy to be working there and appears to be missing some training in making Espresso based drinks.
I recommend skipping B-Towne Coffee Roasters as there are many other great shops in the area.
The quality of drinks, sub par service, and bland atmosphere are typically the characteristics you would be trying to avoid in a non-chain coffee shop.
For a great coffee shop experience, head over to The Coffee Loft or LeLu Coffee Lounge in Sarasota.