Homelessness blamed for disappearance of iconic café – KIRO 7 news Seattle


SEATTLE – An iconic Lower Queen Anne cafe has closed.

The owner of Uptown Espresso says homelessness issues in this once prosperous neighborhood forced him to leave.

He says The Inn at Queen Anne’s conversion from a hotel has brought more former homeless people to the neighborhood.

He and his neighbors, located around the corner from the hostel, say the impact of the move is being felt right here in Lower Queen Anne.

“It’s a bad situation to be a coffee bar retailer at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill right now,” said Paul Odom.

The longtime owner of Fonté Coffee Roaster doesn’t mince words as to why he closed the Uptown Espresso flagship store after 37 years.

“People have to step over bodies lying in front of the door,” he said. “Or, they can defecate outside your door, sometimes in the store. “

Still, Odom says he plans to renovate in anticipation of the opening of the Climate Pledge Arena.

Then, in May, King County announced it would buy the hotel around the corner as part of its strategy to deal with “It was the decision to close,” Odom said.

“Well that’s bad enough,” said David Meinert, owner of Mecca Café, across from old Uptown.

“On this street, you see nobody sits outside here,” Meinert said. “And that’s because of the homeless situation. You can’t put seats here. If you did, people camp there, sit in it. You can’t get rid of it. The police will do nothing about it; I really can’t do anything about it.

It is up to him and his staff to do something about it.

“We clean up human feces every day,” Meinert said. “It’s part of my manager’s job, which stinks. “

As for the change?

“Oh, with Seattle politics?” Meinert asked. “No, I have no hope for Seattle politics. No. It’s all going to get worse, and maybe we’ll have elected officials do something about it. But the current city council, the current mayor, everyone running for town hall, I have no confidence that they are going to change anything.

Odom says things need to change to prevent this from happening in other neighborhoods.

“I think the city needs to come to terms with the business community and come up with another plan because what they’ve done isn’t working,” Odom said.

“Homelessness is the biggest crisis facing our city,” said Andrew Lewis, Seattle City Council member, who represents the neighborhood, in a statement. “The answer is to expand the shelter to meet the overwhelming demand. “

Odom does not rule out returning to this place.

But for now, he’ll be running the remaining seven cafes he owns in other locations.

He might even open a few new bars, but says they won’t be located here.

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