Requiem for a Coffee Shop

Yesterday I spent several happy hours writing and editing at my favorite coffee shop: Green Bean, in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.  A non-profit, charity-supporting place, friendly and comfortable, much loved by the community, frequented by writers, an oasis for parents with babies, you get the idea.   On my way out, I considered walking around the corner to the PAWS cat adoption center to admire the kittens in the window.  Because, you know…kittens.  But my time was running short, and I decided I’d visit the kittens next time.

Late last night, Green Bean burned down.

With it went three small, family-owned restaurants, and with the restaurants went the livelihoods of the owners.

It took 100 firefighters to contain the blaze.  They broke into the PAWS place and evacuated the cats, along with the people living in the upstairs apartments.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.



The outside brick stood up, but the roof caved in.

The authorities aren’t talking, but arson rumors are flying furiously.  I am sickened by the thought.  Such wanton destruction.  And it could easily have been so much worse. 

I have nothing amusing or insightful to say about this.  It made me really sad.

Megaprops to the Seattle Fire Department.  Heroes, every one of them.


21 thoughts on “Requiem for a Coffee Shop

  1. Oh no!  I’m so sorry.  How sad.  And I’m glad they rescued the kittens, because, you know…kittens.  Bet it was one of the restaurant owners, no?  Read my share of arson cases, over the years.

  2. FIRE SUCKS.In fact, it sucks almost as much as arson.  Glad the kitties are safe, though.  BUT FIRE SUCKS.** Unless it is the good kind of fire, like the kind that cooks food or lights birthday candles.  Fire that destroys property and/or hurts people (or kitties) SUCKS. 

  3. I’m sorry for your and your community’s loss.  Fire is awful and one of my BIGGEST fears.  If it is arson, I hope they find the culprit ASAP.  And I hope the community is able to rebuild. Glad the kitties are ok, too.

  4. In reading thru the story links, one former patron (Jewish) was told there that this was a “Christian Coffee House” by a prayer group meeting there.  Seems sort of ridiculous.   What’s that about?

  5. @Barn_Bear – The place is owned by a church, something I didn’t realize until after the fire.  I’d been there dozens of times and still had no idea.  Their main focus was creating a happy community spot and promoting other non-profits.  I thought they were a bunch of hippies.  So, my experience doesn’t line up with the guy who wrote that comment.

  6. They took yer happy yuppie dollars and yer non-profit wages and sent em to Rush Limbaugh to further his (extremely big money for him) non-profit.  Just kidding, sorry you lost yer fav hang out.

  7. @ourcrazycatlady – It’s a storefront adoption center.  They usually have at least half a dozen cats in there.  The place wasn’t damaged, as far as I know.  Evacuating the cats was just a precaution.  The Taproot Theater took a lot of smoke and water damage, but the fire didn’t get to it.  

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