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Saturday, February 8, 2020


New location 108 Pine Street
New photography by Mike Shess,, photo editor

GUEST BLOG / By Sebastian Simsch and Pipo Bui, Seattle Coffee Works--Our first roaster was named Molly. When we moved into 107 Pike Street, we were also able to upgrade to a more reliable and larger roaster.
For several years, Molly lived on in our cafe as a museum piece.

Leaving Pike Street
After 13 years, the time has come to bid farewell to Pike Street. When we opened our pop-up multi-/micro-roaster café inside a t-shirt shop in 2006, people told us the 100 block of Pike Street was “the worst block in Seattle.” It was GRUNGY – drug deals, wildcat busking, drunken brawls by 11 am – were daily occurrences. We even had a neighbor who paid desperately poor people to steal from nearby businesses.

We grew to love and embrace the grungy heart of Seattle. We hope we brought a measure of compassion, community and warm hospitality to this central and “blighted” block.

Over the years, so many good things happened at our café at 107 Pike. First dates, marriage proposals, businessmeetings, impromptu dance routines. We started roasting there. Cupping single-origin coffees. Launching cold brew and manual brew methods at our Slow Bar – which even earned a visit by Andrew Zimmerman, of Bizarre Foods.

Our first sidewalk seating was quite modest. We were one of the first businesses on the downtown portion of Pike Street to have any outdoor seating.

We hosted coffee farmers from all over the world, so they could see what Seattle’s coffee culture feels like. We tested new coffee-making equipment, some of it ingenious, some fairly quirky. We convened coffee professionals during the huge and pivotal Specialty Coffee Association conventions of 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Why are we moving?
The 107 Pike building is old. So old that the brick walls sweat, a reminder of the days when fresh water was scarce so bricks were made with saltwater from Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay. But it’s not old enough to be considered historic. The owners proposed tearing down to rebuild. Meanwhile, we desperately needed fundamental updates to our space. But with a new, month-to-month lease, higher rent, and no commitment that a community café would be part of any new building, it was not to be. We have ceded our space to a t-shirt shop. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

This café was the place where we experimented, played, discovered, and pushed coffee to the limits. It was a bold, but humble, flagship store.

What’s Next?
Fortunately, we have found a new location, just one block north, at 108 Pine Street! We are thrilled to be able to re-open our flagship café, still in the heart of Seattle! This is a chance to get to know a new set of neighbors, a different iconic entrance to the Pike Place Market, and to get a little closer to our dear friends in Belltown.

We have updated our equipment, seating, and back-of-house to make things smoother and more comfortable for our team and customers. It’s a fresh start, and so far, so good! We love our new neighbors, we love the view of Puget Sound, and we are brewing up some brilliant coffees to celebrate!

We hope you will come take a look at our new place. It’s bright and airy, and yet cozy too. So far, the walls haven’t sweat, but who knows what will happen when we get a few more people rubbing elbows in here? We still focus on three key offerings: amazing coffee – kind people – cozy spaces. We are the same team of coffee bar professionals and shopkeepers you know from 107 Pike. We hope to see you soon!

While we mourn the loss of 107 Pike, we look forward to every new morning at 108 Pine. Moving is hard – harder in some ways than opening a new café. There have been fond memories shared about our old location.

Thank you to everyone who helped make our move possible, including our fellow team members at Ballard Coffee Works, Capitol Coffee Works, and Cascade Coffee Works, as well as a dozen talented contractors, artists, and artisans; our customers, suppliers, and friends, who have shown great reserves of patience. We could not have done this without your generosity, skill, and kindness. Thank you.

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