There's a new coffeehouse set to open in Pullman.
That might not sound like big news to folks in more caffeinated parts of town.
But down here, word that the purveyor of Pullman Café had procured all the permits, permissions and licenses needed to open a tiny coffee joint where you’ll be able to get pastries, a sandwich or a healthy salad, is truly something to celebrate.
Artist Ian Lantz, locally famous for his garage door murals that decorate Pullman alleys, says his new café across from the Greenstone Church — in the bottom floor of a brick two-flat that once was the neighborhood soda fountain, Bob’s Sugar Bowl — is just a few months away from opening.
“For me, I always felt like a café was something this neighborhood needed. When I moved here I thought, we don’t have a café to go to? What’s wrong with this place,” said Lantz, who settled in Pullman a few years back. “It’s been a long process, but we’re doing it.”
For neighbors, it’s been a much longer wait.
When I moved to the neighborhood 10 years ago, the former Bob’s Sugar Bowl — where neighbors could get together over coffee and a tasty burger — had been replaced by a resale shop, Dig it! Pullman.
It was manned by a friendly guy hawking antiques and secondhand junk who made sidewalk conversations easy and, from time to time, kept rascally neighborhood kids in line.
He dreamed that the shop would transform into a tiny restaurant one day.
But mostly the shop owner wanted to give folks a place where they could get together, and kids could have a little neighborhood store where they could make memories like generations of Pullmanites who found each other at the soda fountain.
We had great hope, but the shop didn’t survive.
A tax preparation office moved in and didn’t last very long, clearing the way for Lantz to revive the place as Pullman Café.
Construction already has begun, and Lantz says the place will have a rustic look that he hopes feels “as if you just walked into someone’s house for a cup of coffee” that you can sip outside on the sidewalk café.
Lantz says the shop will double as a gallery decorated with local art, and he hopes the place will be a destination for neighbors and visitors alike.
“You know, even if we make no money at it, at least we’ll have something new in the neighborhood, somewhere new to sit down and eat, drink coffee and talk,” he said.
Folks in other neighborhoods might take that for granted, but down here … it’s almost like a dream come true.
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