C & P Coffee Company’s owners ‘scrambling’ after landlord puts site up for sale as ‘terrific development opportunity’

(WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Thanks for all the tips about this – a brand-new real-estate listing that startled a lot of West Seattleites when it went up this morning: 5612 California SW, site of the century-old Craftsman house that is the home of C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), has been put up for sale in a listing describing the parcel as “a terrific development opportunity.”

The coffeehouse is far more than a place to get your latte – it’s a beloved community center and hangout, a place that hosts music and meetings, bazaars and bake sales, donation drives, and one-on-one conversations that no doubt have changed some lives.

The building is NOT owned by C & P Coffee’s proprietors Cameron and Pete Moores (shown at right in WSB photo from C & P’s 10th anniversary in 2013) – they are longtime tenants. We talked with Pete minutes ago. They are “scrambling to try to figure out some way to not only save the building but also save our business too,” he told us. Their landlord just told them days ago about the plan to put the site up for sale – and it “hit us like a ton of bricks” – but they were still “staggered” when the $1,250,000 listing went up this morning.

“We still have a lease that gets us through 2020 – so it’s two years-plus before they can boot us out,” Pete said, but that’s not much consolation. The business he and Cameron have built for 15 years – opened on Valentine’s Day 2003 – “has become more than a coffee shop in the neighborhood, it’s become an important part of our community and we want to save that. So we’re reaching out to everybody we know, looking for somebody who might want to partner with us to buy the property.”

Without a partner, Pete says, $1,250,000 is way out of their range. “We’re just a little mom-and-pop business and it’s like we’re up against the big boys. … Our fingers are crossed that somebody can help us.” Or else, another of those “beautiful houses on California Avenue” is going away, Pete laments; the real-estate listing assesses the site simply as “Value in land – 50X150, level, paved alley.” (The 7,500-square-foot site is zoned Lowrise 3.)

If you – or someone you know – might be interested in/able to help them, e-mail candpco@comcast.net. In the meantime, Pete says, they’re just going to “work their asses off and try to figure it out.”

112 Replies to "C & P Coffee Company's owners 'scrambling' after landlord puts site up for sale as 'terrific development opportunity'"

  • Lack Thereof January 8, 2018 (1:13 pm)

    Hope they are able to find a new home once their lease runs out.  Always good to have a coffee shop near a bus stop.

    Too bad the new project at Findlay won’t have a traditional storefront for lease, or else they could just slide down a couple doors.

    • SCS January 8, 2018 (4:41 pm)

      I remember this building being at risk about 10 years ago and at that time, there were concerned people looking into designating the building for Historic Landmark status. This can be done without the owners consent and it can preserve the building. Something to consider before the property is sold and demolished. 

      • Thomas January 8, 2018 (10:59 pm)

        I understood that this house has been Joshua Green’s hunting lodge. Imagine that, a cottage in the wilderness for that time.

  • Swede. January 8, 2018 (1:20 pm)

    That will be literally the last nail in the coffin for trying to save anything of ‘old’ Seattle. 

    Only real tangible thing that can stop a teardown will be tonget the house registered as a historic sight. 

    • PigeonRidge Ben January 8, 2018 (6:22 pm)

      When you say, ‘old’ Seattle, you refer to what is even now the Occupied Duwamish Territories. This is a great coffee shop and will be sorely missed and on we go.

      • NSAlki January 8, 2018 (11:08 pm)

        Amen.

        It is sad news, but if it is sold, it is perfectly legal for the owner to do that.

        Some perspective is great.

        People they act like they own the neighborhood. White people have been here for less than two centuries. None of this is ours. Neighborhoods change.

    • diane de rooij January 11, 2018 (7:08 pm)

       That’s exactly right.  A few days ago I stopped in at West Seattle produce to get some apples only to find the owner there and everything being torn down and moved out. I was so furious then and now I am beyond furious. That’s it ! Listen everybody who’s reading this thread, you know. Many of you are my friends. Many of you are Pete and Cam’s friends. Many of you rely on C&P coffee for socializing and great coffee. But if that building sells the buildings on either side are going down too. All the way from Potter Construction to the Lorraine Apartments. Ventana went down and that was the beginning of this obscene King Midas greed building on California.  We have Ed Murray to thank for this but it has to stop. WE have to stop this incredible GROWTH–as in CANCER–of in West Seattle. We all have to get together and think of what to do. I will be speaking to the Seattle City council as soon as I find out when the next meeting is. I will be doing anything I can to save C&P and to stop this rape of  West Seattle before it isn’t even West Seattle anymore. If you love C&P & WestWest  Seattle don’t just sit there. Contact me, contact Pete and Cam. Anybody want to work with me on organizing anything please get in touch. I’ll be having coffee at C&P.

  • Laura January 8, 2018 (1:20 pm)

    1.25 million?!?!?!?! That is ridiculous. Makes my blood boil. We lived just down the street from there for 13 years, but got priced out of our apartment last year. Sounds like the old neighborhood is falling to pieces. I’m all for progress, but not when it means destroying everything to move forward. What a shame. 

    • alkistu January 8, 2018 (2:01 pm)

      If it was not for Pete and Cameron making such a nice place out of an old building I don”t think it would sell for so much.  It can”t be the value of just the property.

      • Swede. January 8, 2018 (2:18 pm)

        It’s not the business and their stellar reputation nor the building itself, it’s the land! That’s why it’s a given it won’t be kept as-is, they’ll bulldozer it for sure. But the high price is however a good indication of what will be built there. Most likely townhouses, apartments or even likelier, micro apartments since it’s always about profit they’ll need to squeeze as many people as possible in there. 

        • Sandy January 15, 2018 (1:00 am)

          “since it’s always about profit they’ll need to squeeze as many people as possible in there.”


          Keep in mind that builders have to buy the land at 1.2M, it leaves them much options. If they can’t make a profit, what is the point of taking on that risk? 

          Although we live in a capitalist society, decisions like this need to be sustainable.

          Don’t blame the builder, blame the demand causing these price spikes. Blame the owners for selling out and keeping those capital gains.

  • Marcee January 8, 2018 (1:32 pm)

    No, no, no.  Wish I had the money, I’d do it in a heartbeat.  They do so much for the community and are the soul of that neighborhood.  Thank you, Cameron and Pete! Let me know if I can help!  

  • Alex January 8, 2018 (1:35 pm)

    It’s a shame seeing pretty old buildings go away, but it’s not all bad. C+P is not handicap accessible (stairs), so I’ve never been there. The replacement may represent evil gentrification to many of you, but at least it will be built up to ADA code.

    • pete January 8, 2018 (1:45 pm)

      handicap parking and wheelchair ramp in back

      • M.B. January 8, 2018 (9:26 pm)

        One handicapped spot that’s difficult to get in and out of, and a ramp that is not exactly ADA compliant that terminates in a sharp turn, then another sharp turn through a narrow doorway then a badly laid out/cramped inside.

        I have attempted to go to C&P Coffee twice. I have given up. It is too difficult to get in and out of.

    • Swede. January 8, 2018 (1:56 pm)

      Your comment proves what really is the problem, you personally can’t use something, so it doesn’t matter. I don’t drink soda but still think the tax they put on it is ridiculous and wrong. If everyone keeps being selfish and only care about themselves and not the community we end up with, what we have. A more and more unfriendly and ugly city. 

      • WSB January 8, 2018 (2:04 pm)

        As it turns out, as Pete pointed out (while I was also writing a comment to the same point, which I canceled when I saw he had already answered), the current building IS accessible. And if for some reason it wasn’t – you don’t have to tear down a building and build something new to fix access issues – TR

        P.S. For anyone who isn’t aware, there are a couple other alley parking spaces behind C & P as well as the one reserved for disabled people. The back “yard” is also a nice place to sit in the spring/summer … we’ve done more than a few interviews there over the years.

    • cameron January 8, 2018 (2:30 pm)

      Hi Alex,

      thanks for your comment. We would love to see you at C & P, there is an ADA ramp and dedicated parking spot in the alley between Jeneau and Findlay streets. We also have an ADA bathroom.

      cheers,

      Cameron

    • Kathie January 8, 2018 (3:08 pm)

      We go all the time in the back is a handicapped parking spot and a ramp for there straight to the door. If you had just called you would have known. Also if you are handicapped and the spot is in use they are more then happy to let you use the 5 minute parking if you let them know. Please call and ask before making assumptions. 

  • 35this35mph January 8, 2018 (1:36 pm)

    NOOOOOO! Literally the best Coffee Shop in West Seattle. A vital community hub and arts powerhouse!!! 

  • DRB January 8, 2018 (1:46 pm)

    The thing for C&P would be to find a sympathetic architect to develop a proposal on spec. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the city’s bonus system and who can figure out how C&P’s tenancy could qualify the project for bonuses which would allow the buyer to build more units.

    • Marcee January 8, 2018 (1:58 pm)

      How then would they run their business during the rebuild or whatever it would be called?  

  • newnative January 8, 2018 (1:48 pm)

    I wonder if they can try for non-profit status/society as an arts venue? 

  • LatteRose January 8, 2018 (1:54 pm)

    Another Noooooooo!! This makes me really sad.  :(

  • alkistu January 8, 2018 (1:58 pm)

    I hope C&P will be able to find a new location but in a landscape that is continually being sold out to the highest bidder, losing this lovely setting in the heart of “complexes” will be a visual and significant loss.  Just look at the photo with this article and imagine how it is going to look after the new construction. It won’t be friendly. It will be treeless and there will not be that place of social gathering at this location.  This will continue until the last original feature of West Seattle is gone. Livability is being bought by the highest bidder.

  • Junction Lady January 8, 2018 (2:05 pm)

    Say it isn’t so!  C&P is a one of a kind place.  It will be such a shame to see it go away…the neighborhood will not be the same without C&P☕🍷🏡🎶

  • Astrogirl January 8, 2018 (2:09 pm)

    Argh!!!! This is sad news. I’ve spent many hours there working, people watching and catching up with friends. It’s a lovely place to hang with lots of character. I’ve also seen many musician friends perform there over the years and discovered some new music too. The W. Seattle character I love is slowly disappearing. :(

  • S Davies January 8, 2018 (2:14 pm)

    You could try a Kickstarter

    • Stuart January 8, 2018 (3:31 pm)

      That’s a great idea, also GoFundMe. 

  • Joel January 8, 2018 (2:20 pm)

    article mentions 2 more years on the lease….is a business lease subject to landlord tenant rights….does a new owner have to honor the current lease?

    • geographer January 8, 2018 (6:21 pm)

      They would likely buy the lease out, or conduct their predevelopment activities and wait for the lease to expire. 

  • Ian David January 8, 2018 (2:24 pm)

    For all intents and purposes the C&P Coffee Shop is THE Community Center for West Seattle. I understand that development needs to go up in growing cities, but there is no denying that this will be bad for the neighborhood. 

  • Former Seaview January 8, 2018 (2:30 pm)

    We have been going to C&P for 12 years and we love their shop and atmosphere. Offers for the sale are on jan 17. I hope someone helps them buy the property so they can save it. Any chance of forming a co-op so that others can contribute to the purchase price?  All the best to the family as they navigate this. 

  • Jess January 8, 2018 (2:52 pm)

    This is a real shame. I’ve been to a number of events there over the years and was always so impressed with the owners and staff. I really hope they can remain somehow. 

  • Brian January 8, 2018 (2:53 pm)

    Considering that the proverbial knight in shining armor may not necessarily show up, are there are other ways for the community to rally around this neighborhood “third place” and buy out the current owner? Not sure where to start but maybe this is the time and place for some “bootstrap”-style grassroots ideas. Just trying to provoke conversation, because doing nothing will ensure nothing different happens…

    Crowd-funded real estate?  The new frontier for real estate, focused as usual  on the investor class but here’s a story about a community-focused version.

    Form a co-op? 

    How to Launch a Community-Owned Store – Institute for local self-reliance. This is more focused on retail but maybe some good ideas here.

    What about landmark designation for this Craftsman building?  Could that open up grant money for funding one of the above?

    There are so many community-focused, smart and creative doers in this town and in West Seattle. I’d like to think the know-how exists if only the right people can be brought together.

    • Conjunction Junction January 8, 2018 (3:23 pm)

      Yes, Brian, that’s where the neighborhood should be going with this!  I can’t afford to partner with the owners, but if they could sell shares, I’d be interested in profit sharing and buying a “unit”.  Keep this idea going!

  • CEA January 8, 2018 (3:05 pm)

    We can’t replace beloved, integral spots like C&P! This is soul-crushing news. I feel like every time I turn around, West Seattle is slowly being chipped away at. Places like C&P are the gathering places that make this a community. Please keep this story well-covered (as you always do, WSB) and let us know if there are ways the community can help.

  • kravitz January 8, 2018 (3:09 pm)

    This breaks my heart (again) – to lose the character and charm of our rapidly changing neighborhood. I was at C&P yesterday with friends, enjoying the cozy atmosphere and friendly people sharing tables. You don’t get that at many places anymore. 

    On the other hand, I’m just down the street in my own charming 1921 craftsman – struggling to pay my mortgage and property taxes. If some developer wanted to hand me a million bucks, I’d take it and drive off into the sunset to be the artist I am meant to be, and find a place where I can finally afford to create. 

    It’s become damn near impossible to live in the city I was born in. The neighborhoods are unrecognizable, the streets are unnavigable, and it’s only getting worse density-wise. As much as I admire and wish to be stubborn like the late Edith Macefield of Ballard, I don’t think I can withstand this city any more. 

    I hope Cameron and Pete can find a solution, somehow. And if not, I hope that Nickell Bros. will be considered for moving that beautiful house to a new lot.  What a shame to lose another one…

  • Kathie January 8, 2018 (3:10 pm)

    Is there any way to have the building declared a historic building and saved that way?

  • Lauren January 8, 2018 (3:22 pm)

    As a community, we could crowdfund the purchase of the building for C&P to own –as long as they turn non-profit. I think that’s how these things work. And they could do it because of the number of community events they hold –it’s truly a gathering space, on top of their wonderful coffee.

  • LongtimeWS January 8, 2018 (3:31 pm)

    Arghhhh! Nooooo! This is the best place ever! 

  • Nancy January 8, 2018 (3:45 pm)

    Please reach out to Historic Seattle and Southwest Seattle Historical Society to voice concern and support for the preservation and landmark designation of C&P Coffee Company.  Perhaps if enough of us respond, there will be action.

    Historic Seattle:  https://historicseattle.org/ or  (206)622-6952

    Southwest Seattle Historical Society: http://www.loghousemuseum.info/  or 206-938-5293

    • Souuthwest Seattle Historical Society January 9, 2018 (11:26 am)

      Thank you for commenting.


      Southwest Seattle Historical Society has also become aware of this recent announcement and appreciates the public response to when an important building like this one is at risk of demolition.

      We are in the process of learning more about what possibilities exist for landmark protections and are committed to support and collaboration with other like-minded organizations (such-as Historic Seattle) as well as West Seattle residents who value and recognize the importance of the building from an historic and architectural perspective.

      It is true that in the past we’ve participated in the landmark evaluation and nomination process in the case of our own museum (Log House Museum), as well as the ‘Alki Homestead,’ the Admiral Theater, and more-recently the Campbell Building (Cupcake Royale), and Hamm Building (Easy Street), and we see the similarities in both the architectural histories, as well as the ‘use history,’ such-as in the case of the beloved C & P coffee, as well as the businesses before it. The loss of such buildings also means the loss of history in the process.

      Anyone wishing to help the Historical Society look into this particular landmark topic please feel free to reach out to us.

      Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Phone: 206-938-5293, x3

  • Rob B January 8, 2018 (3:45 pm)

    Tough news….I feel really bad for tenants who could have the preverbial rope pulled out from under them at any time these days. 

    We’d welcome you with with open arms up in admiral if the worst does happen. Admiral supports local and isn’t being completely overridden with new development like the junction! 

  • anonyme January 8, 2018 (4:14 pm)

    “Terrific development opportunity” = tear down a lovely, historic structure and replace it with a cheap and monstrous commercial development with no redeeming social or architectural value.

    • T January 8, 2018 (4:36 pm)

      Agreed 

    • geographer January 8, 2018 (6:31 pm)

      The site is zoned LR3, which encourages “moderate scale multifamily housing”. The max building sq. footage, based on an FAR of 2.0, would be 15,000 sq. ft. Density limits place the max development at ~9 apartment units, unless they meet certain design requirement. 

      This site will likely end up as 3-5 townhomes. Nothing too monstrous.

  • Cami MacNamara January 8, 2018 (4:15 pm)

      I can handle a lot of change in West Seattle, but not this.  There must be something we can all do!

  • savoirfaire January 8, 2018 (4:23 pm)

    I wonder if something like this might be an option:

    https://www.communitysourcedcapital.com/

    • Mike January 9, 2018 (5:56 pm)

      I’ll talk to Rachel Maxwell at CSC, but I’m pretty sure this is too big a deal for them. 

      What about Urban Land Trust? I think folks like Forterra are using land trusts to save important  community assets. If we’re successful here, we have a model that others can replicate. We must try!

  • Joano January 8, 2018 (4:51 pm)

    Saw this on Facebook…but now I can’t find it again to leave a comment! I am so tired of all the new “ high-rises “ in West Seattle and hope Pete & Cam can come up with a solution.   I probably shouldn’t put in print what I really want to say.  **@#*$***

    • WSB January 8, 2018 (4:59 pm)

      Well, this is actually a better place to comment than some other place because this will be attached to the actual story forever. Thanks.

  • Junction Lady January 8, 2018 (5:08 pm)

    Does the current property owner reside in West Seattle or elsewhere?

    • geographer January 8, 2018 (6:24 pm)

      A quick search shows the property owners as long-time west seattle residents

      • savoirfaire January 8, 2018 (8:07 pm)

        Hmm, when I looked it up, the address of the taxpayers of record is in Ellensburg, though a 2015 obituary (yes, I was curious and googled them) described one of them as a former longtime West Seattle resident.

  • T January 8, 2018 (5:10 pm)

    Remember the old Guadalajara restaurant nearby, across the street? Around 12 years ago,  our young family used to go there for dinner a lot. That’s around the time the tear down to condo boom started. I kept wondering where restaurant goers were going to park with condo residents taking up street parking. Problem solved by tearing down the restaurant a few months later. Lol I was so naive.

    I’m just as sad as everyone else but there’s very little one can do.  There’s zoning and property owners have the right to sell to the highest bidder/we live in a capitalistic country. 

    would be great to save old homes etc but why start now? Look at what has disappeared over the last 15 years or so? I was the (only?) one on here sounding the alarm and was just dismissed as a nimby.

  • Sharon January 8, 2018 (5:31 pm)

    A friend suggested this: 

    I’d also consider a gofundme campaign with the amount needed and email it to King 5 and king5 evening.

  • raywest January 8, 2018 (5:33 pm)

    I’m just sick about this. This is terrible news. This establishment is a jewel of West Seattle, a true community center, and it needs to be saved.  Not only have I patronized them for years, this house is a significant part of my childhood memories, playing on the brick patio and “riding” the stone lions that once sat in the front.

  • Amazombie January 8, 2018 (5:57 pm)

    I ponder what percentage of bloggers that complain about the never ending development shop on Amazon? I bet it’s fairly high. I hope you all realize that Amazon has an extremely significant hand in all the development and density we currently face. I personally believe they have single handedly destroyed our city. That’s why I have never used their services and never will. Yet here we are as a city vying for Amazon HQ2, just imagine what our city will become if that happens. Join me, stand up and boycott Amazon. 

    • geographer January 8, 2018 (6:18 pm)

      How do you figure? Amazon isn’t a residential developer

    • Katie January 8, 2018 (9:26 pm)

      Have you ever live in a city without expansion and growth?  Visit the rust belt. That’s the paradise you get when you don’t have things like Amazon hiring people.  It’s not perfect and expansion could be managed better but hating prosperity is plain foolish and privileged. 

      • NSAlki January 8, 2018 (11:00 pm)

        Agreed.

        City leaders should have seen this coming at least 10 years ago, if not more. Seattle has had plenty of opportunities to build a real transit system but people shot it down.

        We have unplanned growth and traffic, but the alternative is much much worse. Look at what is happening to Snohomish county where there is no new industry. Don’t even have to look at the rust belt. People act like technology businesses are evil, but that is why Seattle is not a decaying town with a dying industry. 

    • SWinWS January 9, 2018 (12:27 am)

      I am so saddened to hear this.  This is the ugly side  of a booming
      economy.  And, yes, I agree with the comment made about Amazon (we all
      have some personal responsibility) and big corporations that draw in big
      money/jobs, developers, etc. and extract the best qualities of
      cultivated communities/long time residents, to the highest bidder.   As
      for Flint and the rest of the rust belt …you can thank NAFTA for that,
      that is the nature of capitalism…its fleeting.

  • Now it’s not ok January 8, 2018 (5:58 pm)

    Tracy, perhaps we can put the rezoning and proposal story of the building located in the endolyne neighborhood side by side with this story? I find it interesting in regards to the two how different the comments are. In endolyne story I recall comments of “we need the housing” and “welcome to the club of redevelopment” etc… but now the tune has changed? Somehow our once great community has become some sort of neighborhood war. Where residents of one area of West Seattle think they are better or even separated from other neighborhoods. The redevelopment is not the only thing that is sad the behavior and mentality of our community as a whole is the saddest part of it all. 

    • WSB January 8, 2018 (6:10 pm)

      I don’t think any difference in reaction to the two stories is a “neighborhood war” at all. For one, there’s certainly no way to tell who commenting on what lives where – we even have expats who for some reason keep reading the site and sometimes comment. That aside, comments can differ wildly depending on what day of the week/time of day a story appears, what else is going on. (Technology even factors in – currently some people are having trouble again commenting via one of our mobile options – the keyboard won’t come up unless a formatting key is hit first – we’re working on fixing this!)

      Meantime, even without calling up the initial Endolyne link (which I will add here at the end) it should be noted there are certainly some differences to the situations – in this case, a site that is widely used as a community gathering place/arts venue/etc., in a century-old Craftsman house, vs., in Fauntleroy, a site currently used as professional offices, which I don’t recall anyone having singled out for architectural uniqueness. The concern for the latter has been more about what’s proposed and how it will affect the surrounding neighborhood, while the concern for the former has been more about what might be lost on behalf of the wider community – there’s no proposal yet. (Fauntleroy for example might be a little different if someone were proposing redeveloping the bakery/restaurant building across the street, which also is a community gathering place!) Anyway, here’s that previous story, from late October:

      http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/development-early-stage-proposal-to-rezone-fauntleroy-site-at-9250-45th-sw-for-new-5-story-mixed-use-building/

      P.S. Anyone interested in the Endolyne proposal (9250 45th SW) should stay in touch with the Fauntleroy Community Association, which will be discussing it again at its meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday, January 9th, 7 pm, Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9140 California SW – the full agenda is in our calendar listing). -TR

  • Scarlett January 8, 2018 (6:33 pm)

    Go to the Facebook page of West Seattle JUNO. The junction neighborhood org. and generously contribute to the legal challenge fund they are raising to appeal the crappy environmental impact statement for the really crappy upzone plans that contributed to the loss of places like C&P. 

  • Judi January 8, 2018 (7:02 pm)

    Just sad… the coffee shops, cute houses, and unique atmosphere are what makes the area so attractive.  But housing prices and rent hikes are making it impossible to live here and impossible for restaurants and mom and pop places to stay.  It’s true that we need more housing, more affordable housing, we also need more parking…and we also need more jobs!  Why the rush to push out small businesses??

  • Aimless blade January 8, 2018 (7:05 pm)

    A potential new landowner/developer might very much like a confirmed leasee with an established business to help make ends meet/profit targets.
    No reason a win/win cannot be sculpted out of this new development.
    Yes, the charming house will be no more; but a new business arrangement could well be inked to keep this business alive in new digs.   

  • HappyOnAlki January 8, 2018 (7:31 pm)

    This is from the WSBlog page on Facebook — in case the poster doesn’t do it here too:

    Meridith Siviglia Isaacson I funded the last stages of building out my flower shop through Community Sourced Capital. It’s not a go fund me, you pay it back to your lenders, which are usually your community, at 0% interest. It’s a solid lending option for small businesses when they need to find an alternate means of funding. Could be a good option based on the outpouring of support on this page! 
    https://www.communitysourcedcapital.com/

    • savoirfaire January 8, 2018 (8:04 pm)

      I wondered about that too. I didn’t have time to go into detail when I posted the link earlier, but I bought a “square” a few years ago when a restaurant I love was working to open a second location.

  • WS Guy January 8, 2018 (7:44 pm)

    How about this:  (1). Raise enough money to buy it.  (2).  Put a covenant on it that prevents larger scale development.   (3).  Sell it, at whatever price (likely lower).  (4).  Refund the donors proportionately with the proceeds of the sale.

  • Brian Hughes January 8, 2018 (7:51 pm)

    This makes me ill. Such a great part of our neighborhood. I’d love to be part of a solution. 

  • Sad neighbor January 8, 2018 (8:13 pm)

    I would donate whatever small amount I could to try to keep C & P in business. Really sad to read this story. The owners are always so kind whenever we go in. Hoping for a positive outcome. 

  • T January 8, 2018 (8:19 pm)

    EV buys his coffee there or he used to. Maybe he can help out? 

  • Seabruce January 8, 2018 (8:20 pm)

    The old building that housed Ventana (sp?) was saved by moving it. Maybe the landlord could gift it to someone willing to pay to move it to a new site to save it instead of paying for demolition? Too bad the city doesn’t insist on this for historical and environmental reasons. 

    I’m surprised to learn businesses like this and PCC didn’t take out mortgages to buy their properties since real estate appreciation can be more profitable than the actual business.

    Could WSB talk with its business sponsors about setting up a Real Estate Investment Trust to buy this and similar properties in  West Seattle to maintain its character since the city doesn’t seem to care?

    • WSB January 8, 2018 (8:25 pm)

      Regarding the first point – maybe Nickel Bros will be interested in this house, if it eventually faces the figurative wrecking ball; I think they’re about the only firm that does what they do. As for the third point – we’re journalists/publishers, not brokers or dealmakers or facilitators – and most if not all of our sponsors are smallbusinesspeople including and similar to the Moores! – but maybe that’s an idea someone out there will want to take up. – TR

  • LKT January 8, 2018 (9:05 pm)

    As the Junction becomes  busier, denser and more populated with newcomers, C&P is even more precious. It is a place to slow down, appreciate a bit of local history, and gather with neighbors in a peaceful, cozy environment. Maybe even speak to someone you don’t know.  It is irreplaceable. 

  • Tami Scheibach January 8, 2018 (9:15 pm)

    Ornulf, Senja, and I are just sick to hear this!  This is our beloved community coffee shop in such a beautiful old home. We love Cam and Pete ( and George, Gillian, and Katie). We love our neighbors that are regulars there. We have to STOP THIS. Community is more important than money. 😓

  • russ kevin childers January 8, 2018 (10:42 pm)

    So sad to hear about this! C&P was my home away from home for many years while I lived in West Seattle. I still go by when I get to West Seattle, including this past weekend. My wife and I had our wedding reception at C&P. A very special place, indeed. We are both thinking about what we can do to help Cam and Pete and the cafe stay open. Not sure yet what that might be. Clearly a lot of people love the place, and the role it plays in their/our lives.

  • natinstl January 8, 2018 (11:26 pm)

    I actually own a book about Pacific NW craftsman architecture and the C & P home is mentioned in it and there’s a picture of the fireplace. I hate to see this business and home go. I can’t fault the owner for wanting a profit from their investment, but it would be nice if we had a happy ending to this story. More townhouses crammed on the lot will not bring the feeling of community that C & P has.

  • Pia V. January 9, 2018 (12:02 am)

    No…! C & P is so much more than the best coffee shop in West Seattle – which it clearly is. It is a place with a soul and lots of extras; darn good coffee and wine and great weekend entertainment by artists ready for neighborhood prime time and more.

    This is where my newborn babies were introduced to the community we live in. This is where they grew up to toddlerhood; moving from a baby carrier to running on their own little feet around the beautiful garden and vegetable courtyard in the back. This is where I’ve spent numerous summer afternoon discussing a mind blowing variety of topics amongst the ever changing, eclectic group of neighbors you can only find in West Seattle. This is where you’d go to catch up on life in our part of town.

    Let’s go to Pete’s Coffee House, my little daughters would say. Let’s. I want it to continue for many, many years to come. ❤️

  • Tx Trumbo January 9, 2018 (2:25 am)

    Wonderful people and atmosphere. They really support the local art and music scene; small, intimate scale. We need more communal gathering spots with such a warm and welcoming feeling. We, as communities, need this.   

  • Westie January 9, 2018 (2:55 am)

    The situation unfortunate, but the horse has been out of the barn in west Seattle and the city in general for years,  we have allowed the developers and politicians to destroy the souls of our neighborhoods and where there is wealth like magnolia not to accept their fair share of ugly poorly developed density

    Once it hits right at home we cry foul, our unique character was sold out years ago  parcel by parcel,  what we have allowed is what we now have,  nothing of character and charm will remain, development and greedy politicians and our myopic community is the genesis of  the demise both of this wonderful gathering space and west Seattle as a whole. 

  • RayWest January 9, 2018 (3:46 am)

    If it is to be sold for redevelopment, I at least hope the house will be saved like the one that was just a few doors north of C&P  (on California and Findley) and moved to a new location. I would hate to see this beautiful craftsman house razed for yet another ugly condo.  

  • I live next door January 9, 2018 (4:35 am)

    Too bad for the coffee shop. Its a great place but comments of preserving as a historic building by petitioning to the city is unfair to the owner who is deservedly entitled to a profit if they wish, in a long overdue(?) investment. Leave them alone. I’m very sorry this had to happen but the coffee shop has 2 years to find a better place. Getting a building permit from DPD is not a fast process.

    • RayWest January 11, 2018 (4:41 am)

      I Live Next Door – The house being designated as a historic building would not prevent the owners from selling it. It would mean that new owners could not tear it down. C&P might still have to move their business if a new owner chose to live there or hikes up the rent, but the house would be saved. I suspect that if you “live next door” to C&P, you may be more concerned about your own property value in relation to what happens to this house than the rights of the seller.

  • Kay K January 9, 2018 (7:37 am)

    Maybe WSB can link folks to a study being done in the U District mentioned in Councilperson Herbold’s last newsletter. (University District Small Business Impact Study). It’s looking at how the neighborhood can retain its character prior to implementation of HALA there, the quote in her newsletter seems so appropriate here. The challenge, how can we implement changes that increase density without losing “heart” and community? At least up there this consideration is happening prior to the passage of legislation.

     “Small, independent, owner-operated neighborhood businesses such as pubs and cafes, bakeries, pharmacies, galleries, retailers, makers, dance studios, professional services, and nonprofit organizations are what define neighborhood character and authenticity, and the foundation for vibrant, walkable, and sustainable communities.”


  • SMS January 9, 2018 (8:56 am)

    This is a bummer, but wouldn’t it be easier to help the owners seek a new lease nearby, rather than purchasing a property for more than a million dollars?  You can preserve the spirit of the place without having everything stay exactly the same.

    Lack of housing development as the city’s population grows is exactly what has pushed properties to these absurdly high prices.  Housing is like musical chairs and the rich will always get a seat.  When you organize to prevent the city from adding more chairs, you make sure that the poor and even the middle class won’t get to sit down.

    My husband and I were only able to afford to live in West Seattle because we bought a townhouse–single family homes are too expensive for us.

    What about the families who won’t be able to live in the area unless the property is turned into townhouses?  Being here “first” (i.e., slightly earlier) doesn’t make someone else better than me.  It doesn’t give someone the right to pursue policies that would prevent other people from moving in.  That includes using the historic registry to prevent development.

  • natinstl January 9, 2018 (10:42 am)

    Greater density doesn’t always equal cheaper housing. As land gets more expensive in itself and the cost of building materials increases then housing costs don’t go down in most cases when it’s a new build. Developers also become less inclined to build low cost units. 

  • RCS January 9, 2018 (11:00 am)

    How sad. Here’s to another over-priced, cookie cutter file cabinet coming in.

  • I. Ponder January 9, 2018 (11:15 am)

    The building is a gorgeous classic bungalow. Wondering is it has any significance which would merit historic preservation.

  • rob January 9, 2018 (11:23 am)

     We don’t know maybe the city hase rezoned the property multi family retail. And at the same time bumped the taxes through  the roof. Now the owner no longer is making up the differance with what C&P are paying in rent. We also know nothing about the property owner. They may have been hanging on just long enough to make enough to call it quits and retire. Imagine if you had this chance.  Or we can all chip in and pay the owner a high enough rent increase as to not sell and  keep C&P  open. But then every small bis would love this also.

    • WSB January 9, 2018 (11:41 am)

      No, the property has not been rezoned. Like many sites – particularly along arterials – it is already zoned for more than its current use – “Lowrise 3” is the current zoning. Like all multifamily property in the city, it might be upzoned if HALA MHA passes (I was looking at the map while working on this yesterday and couldn’t determine exactly how much – it would stay Lowrise 3, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be extra height allowed). And yes, we know nothing about the property owner, aside from names in public records, and as someone mentioned above, a family that did have longtime ties to West Seattle. But this first story wasn’t about the property owner. It’s about the longtime tenants, who, it should be noted, are not attacking or criticizing their longtime landlord(s) – they are, as quoted, “scrambling” to figure out how to deal with the suddenly changing circumstances. – TR

  • Scott January 9, 2018 (1:24 pm)

    While I too am sad to see small businesses and historical (for Seattle at least) building go away, and lament the Ballardization of West Seattle, I did notice a distinct lack of empathy for the owners of the house.  It is similar to people being upset that folks buy a house for 500k and sell it for 800k because “that’s too much money” and “they are just being greedy” and “how am I/others/my children etc supposed to afford that?”.   The reality is that this is our market, that is a piece of commercial property that has increased significantly in value, and one of the great things about this country is that if you make a smart decision about your investments you get to reap the benefits.  Would this same group have been willing to help the owners out in 2009 when the value of this property cratered?  I would guess not.  We don’t know the owners situation…perhaps it’s being sold so that they can buy a home, pay the bills, pay for health care……or buy a Ferrari.  It is their property and no one here is being screwed.   What we CAN do is to continue to support C and P in both their existing location and in any new location that they might identify.  No, it probably won’t be a cute Craftsman on California, but there is a huge amount of storefront building going on in the area, and if their business model makes sense and their customer base is committed, one of those locations will be an opportunity to continue to offer the community center that they have built.  

    • jason January 9, 2018 (2:16 pm)

      Alas….a rational response amidst all the drama.  Thank you.

    • Kevin January 10, 2018 (9:46 am)

      Talking sense 

  • LKT January 9, 2018 (3:14 pm)

    In the book, “The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest”, (Portland: Timber Press, Inc., 2007) authors Lawrence Kreisman and Glenn Mason describe the C&P building under “Civic and Commercial Buildings”:

        “In developing urban residential neighborhoods, real estate offices were typically designed in bungalow style to promote the Arts and Crafts lifestyle. The September 1913 issue of Bungalow Magazine  featured an illustrated article on a bungalow office building located on California Avenue S.W. in West Seattle designed by architect W.R. Kelley. (photos below are from that 1913 article, reprinted in the book)  It served as office and salesroom for the Fairmount real estate addition to Seattle and was “a proper clubhouse,” distinguished by battered buttresses and a heavy cornice.  Brick gateway pillars with globe electric fixtures led potential purchasers along a brick and tile approach described as harmonious.  The paneled reception room had an oak floor in a checkerboard pattern and the room was equipped with Mission and Craftsman furniture. Moravian tile in the fireplace mantel was arranged in square and diamond motifs.”

    This building was deemed significant enough to be featured in 1913 and 2007 as an important example of an architectural  genre, and important to the development of our neighborhood, and many of its features are remarkably intact. In addition, a key piece of the “Arts and Crafts Lifestyle” was the importance of community-building, civic discourse, education, and providing places for those things to happen. The Mount Baker neighborhood still has their original community club building which has functioned as such since 1909.  C&P Coffee  really serves as a sort of community club for our neighborhood today.

    No one is saying that the owners shouldn’t sell if they wish, and certainly Seattle needs more affordable housing. A few doors south of C&P a development proposal is up suggesting the removal of one single-family home to be replaced by 5 apartments with parking and 35 micro units without. It’s not as if W.S. is not absorbing a good share of new development. But there has to be balance. There has to be room for the things and places that we hold dear, that are historic,  and that make our community unique and special as we welcome new neighbors to share them.

  • Tanya H January 9, 2018 (3:36 pm)

    Very gutted by hearing this. I love C&P! We just moved up north and as I was scrolling through Redfin I see the listing for this. I hope it has enough historic features to be considered a landmark.

  • sgs January 9, 2018 (4:48 pm)

    Those photos are stunning.  Regardless of the rights to buy and sell, these gems are in a different class (historical) and should be treated thus.   

  • Alyssa January 9, 2018 (9:39 pm)

    Oh Cam and Pete, my heart is heavy at this news.  We treasure our memories made at C&P and the sheer force of love and community that you’ve created.  I’ve got an inquiry in to some real estate attorneys to see if they can offer some creative brainstorming on a solution – I’ll let you know what I learn.  I can’t imagine our neighborhood without C&P!

  • Anne January 10, 2018 (9:13 am)

    Thank you Scott- for your balanced  comments- it’s exactly how I feel as well. I will continue to support C&P – hopefully in their current place- but if not- wherever they go. So many of the new builds in WS tout “ retail space on ground floor” maybe just the right space will be available for C & P. One thing I do hope- somehow this lovely Craftsman can be spared the wrecking ball  & can be moved.

  • John January 10, 2018 (9:42 am)

    Thank you also to Scott who makes balanced comments without demonization of others.

  • Linda S January 11, 2018 (6:37 pm)

    Very upsetting news as Cameron and Pete are community builders – I would certainly buy a square or a share if this became a community development project or co-op.

    • WSB January 11, 2018 (6:38 pm)

      I checked in with them today and nothing new to report yet, but we’ll have a separate followup before too much more time passes.

  • M January 12, 2018 (1:06 pm)

    Has anyone started a petition about this? Or a Kickstater? Or would anyone be interested in starting a petition? I think if we really got out in force we could try a prevent it or something along those lines. We need to try and save it

    • KM January 12, 2018 (1:27 pm)

      What would it petition? A legal sale of property between two consenting parties? 

  • gutarguy January 12, 2018 (2:53 pm)

    I just saw this today…what I feared for many years may now come true…it’s been one of my most popular venues to play, and I credit Pete and Cam for their encouragement and support—from the start I’ve loved this place!.  Hope some good things can come out of this over the next 2 years. 

  • u930841 January 13, 2018 (4:09 pm)

    gcleftones are playing C&P tomorrow Sunday 3 to 5, the setup there is playing for tips; we’ve decided we’re throwing the tip jar to the house for Cam & Pete – come here some good music, tip well & often

  • Russ January 14, 2018 (11:12 am)

    KING 5 did a story on the fundraiser: https://t.co/A1PYe78jQW

  • Janette January 15, 2018 (4:29 pm)

    https://www.gofundme.com/saving-c-amp-p-coffee


    It’s so worth it to me, chipping into the gofundme campaign! I love this place!

        : O Go, C&P!


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