Driven to Espresso: Drive-through Coffee Stands in the Northwest

If you think coffee culture is cool, you have come to the right place. I have loads of information and opinions to share about espresso in the Pacific Northwest, especially the drive-through phenomenon.

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Location: Edmonds, WA, United States

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Rough times for drive-through coffee stands

There is a drive-through espresso stand up the street from me; no surprise, given that I live in the suburbs of Seattle. It has always appeared to me to have plenty of business. I can't recall ever driving past and not seeing a customer there. Then a month or so ago, I noticed it was closed during the morning rush hour and a small sign taped to the window. The sign said they were closed until further notice.

Yesterday, while walking past, I noticed something else taped to one of the windows, so I went over to have a look and satisfy my curiosity. It was notice of a default on a loan. The loan amount was for over $600,000.

No doubt there is more to the story, but seeing such an apparently popular drive-through unable to make payments on their loan grieves me.

There is another closed down drive-through--this one is pictured in Driven to Espresso on page 113, and like the other one, is not far from my home --that employed bikini-clad baristas. I had formed the opinion that the bikini barista drive-throughs were escaping the recession, but perhaps not even that business "model" is enough today.

I wonder if we have seen the end of an era, when the drive-through coffee stands were at their peak, and the coffee craze was carried to an irrational high.


Blogger Mark Monlux said...

I think the jump-the-shark moment came when Bikiniristas went from one-in-state oddity to something you end up driving past fairly regularly.

7/8/10, 2:09 PM  

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