It would seem, upon entering, that you're walking into a Macintosh paradise. Stacks of software and Macintosh-compatible gadgets line the walls and make-shift tables, and the store is full to the brim with old Macs, new Macs, monitors, and parts. A wall of mac-compatible printers, new and old, lines the front of the store. Behind the counter, wires and computer guts are strewn everywhere in a frenzy of repair.
What makes this place not as intriguing is service. I walked in a few days ago, said "hi", and was not talked to for all ten minutes that I was in the store. Simply ignored, in every sense of the word. I didn't even catch a glance in my direction. There were two salesmen present, one of whom was working with a customer, and the other was just sitting at a computer. Neither managed to say hi back, and I only caught a glimpse from the customer. This ruined the experience for me, and I left without buying anything. I wouldn't go in this place over the official Apple store, where, though with less of a selection, I am practically assaulted by friendly sales reps waiting to help me. Maybe these guys should take a page from the book of the company that makes them possible.
PROS: Lots of stuff, good repair.
CONS: Lousy service. Like being ignored? Go here!
I know exactly what you hate about Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldens. They've got the same amount of books, the same prices, and the same feeling of emptyness. The Tattered Cover is different. Locally owned and operated, the bookstore is a heaven for green deluxe carpeting, old creaky wooden shelving, and a quiet conversation. The store features three full floors of books, ranging from brand new computer teachers to old, shabby volumes in bargain bins. The store is always filled with the quiet dabble of hushed voices, one that is inviting and comforting. The store is best described as a throwback from another era, where low-lit shops filled to the brim with quiet, but noisy conversation, was acceptable. The store features a great full-service coffee shop which is cheaper than starbucks and much better, and is a great place to spend an afternoon. Even if you don't need a book, sitting on one of the plush couches or mis-matched wooden chairs of the coffee shop gives you a sense of place, and a break from the rush of everyday life. The real appeal may be that time seems to move slower in that place, and no one feels rushed to buy or shop. You may bump into someone on the stairs, but in the end, you say "excuse me" and make your way up.
PROS: Great coffee shop, full service coffee bar, 4-star restaurant
CONS: Crowded, but it won't matter to you.