There was once Yola’s Coffee House, which eventually became Da Hui, which eventually split into two and spawned Yo Mama’s. Yo Mama’s lasted, well, not very long, and now we get Pieper Cafe (opening April 1). Meanwhile, two blocks west, Guapo held on strong for several years until last October, when they, too, shut their doors. Through it all, though, Sweetness Bakery and Cafe and Speedboat Coffee have been a constant, steadily providing coffee and treats for the neighborhood.
For over 10 years, Speedboat has also served coffee out of its window, creating a rare treat for those who prefer Stumptown Coffee over, say, Dutch Brothers on their morning commute. And while Speedboat continues to provide refuge for the caffeine-addicted, a recent development put a damper on their clientele who take advantage of the drive-through before and after work, or simply when they’re too lazy to get out of their cars. Speedboat’s neighbor, Subway, recently erected a fence between the two businesses, and while this may seem somewhat innocuous, the fence also divided Speedboat’s drive-through lane and the driveway entrance on Foster. This put an end to Speedboat’s ability to serve on-the-go customers who found it convenient to stop for their morning cup a’ joe while driving down Foster.
In defense of Subway’s owner, who has not yet made use of the land he’s blocked off, it is his property. It’s their purgative, too, if they want to put a fence up. Without knowing their intentions, we cannot fault him, nor pass any judgement. For all we know, the fence will someday serve a greater good. What that is, though, remains to be seen. For now, it appears to just be blocking potential customers.
We can say this, however: it’s important to support your local businesses. Speedboat has seen a decrease in customers since the fence was put up, so we’d like to encourage you to visit them when the urge hits. Perhaps the fence will come down some day, but until then, know that the inside is pretty rad, too.