I just had a delightful time drinking a cappuccino and eating a light dinner at a Brady Street coffeehouse--that is, delightful until I had to use the restroom. Someone was camped out in the men's room for ten or fifteen minutes.
As I see it, almost all coffeehouses have the following comorbidities:
-One-person restrooms (c'mon, have at least a stall and a urinal like most smallish restaurant men's rooms)
-A two or three-hour closing process during which the staff talk loudly to each other while emptying garbage cans, etc.
-The mutually exclusive goals of easy parking and a good opportunity to attract pedestrian traffic
I'm still somewhat bearish on the long-term prospects of coffeehouses surviving in their current form, though there certainly are a few rock-solid fundamentals:
-The need for apartment-dwellers to get out and circulate
-People's desire to work or play around on their computers in a public, yet somewhat controlled setting
-People who enjoy the regular ritual of getting their favorite drink (I'd imagine this is a largely female group--I've seen a woman in Whitefish Bay who must have bought an iced latte every day for 17 years or more...I used to serve her at Barnes & Noble)