The photo you see above may seem like a perfectly ordinary scene from any given day at Elixr, full of coffee lovers who have settled in to get some work done. Or, if you're chef/restaurateur Marc Vetri, it could be one of the most "depressing" things you've ever witnessed adjacent to caffeine, sad proof that technology has rendered us all incapable of saying hi to strangers. Also, he'd like you to know, Elixr's choice of music could be peppier.
This is what life has boiled down to...people at a coffee shop not engaging, not communicating. No sense of community or culture. People just looking at screens. This is so sad. Never have I been to a more depressing coffee shop in my life. Dismal music, zero talking. Wake up people!!! Your life is passing you by!!!! Just look up and say hi! It's that easy!
Elixr, for their part, responded in the comments on Instagram to defend their customers and to call upon Vetri to "stop being a dick":
Something is seriously wrong with you @marcvetri . Just because you might not understand something (or potentially an entire generation) does not give you the right to condemn it. Have you talked to these folks you are so harshly judging? Do you think that they wouldn't engage in an intellectual conversation with you? Do you think they because they choose to be "working" they are not contributing positively to life? There is no doubt in my mind that if you would have conversed with them, instead of passing condemnation on, you would understand that those folks are busy becoming doctors, tech giants, surgeons, humanitarians, and generally stuff far more important your apparent pastime of holding grudges and being a generally pessimistic jealous person. In the past, you have criticized us, or "third wave" or "rock star baristas", Thats fine, but when you take it out on these folks, who doing far better things with their lives than both you and I, I am compelled to ask you stop being a dick, and stop blabbing about things you know little about.
Whether Elixr's patrons all have such lofty career goals or not, it seems fair to suggest that for most people working and studying in coffee shops during the day, the alternative is probably not a relaxed, friendly chat over a macchiato. It's more likely they'd just be doing this same work somewhere else, probably alone, and definitely drinking worse coffee.
Of course, if you agree with Vetri and are seeking out a wifi-free cafe experience, there's always La Colombe, Ox, or the Green Line Cafe at 43rd and Baltimore.
@marcvetri you've made it known that you disapprove of third wave coffee and our community but please keep your judgmental thoughts away from our customers. Unlike you, we've talked to them and we know how beautiful they all are. For someone who's been around the Philly scene for a long time we're disappointed you would be so quick to dismiss people so easily while peering at them through the screen of your phone. If you're lucky, they could be your customers as well. Show respect. #MarcOfSuperiority #changingtimes #PagingVetri #iContactWithMarcVetri