Cafe Artista opens, Retro Espresso closes

My interests increasingly lie elsewhere and so keeping this blog up to date has fallen by the wayside. Nevertheless, a couple of changed to the landscape have occurred:

Sister’s Brew is now gone and replaced with the Cafe Artista. The atmosphere of the shop is largely unchanged, though the addition of compact flouresent bulbs has not been an improvement. They are paying big money to use fresh Stumptown beans in all their drinks – a regional first. This would be excellent news for coffee lovers, IF they kept their espresso machines caliberated and the barristas threw out bad shots when they cropped up (it’s impossible for them not to.) This, unfortunatley doesn’t happen as far as I can tell. So even though there is Hair Bender in the grinder, you may not having anything amazing in your cup. It’s been really hit and miss when I’ve been in there. On the other hand, the drip coffee is pretty fantastic. It’s hard to screw up drip, so having fresh Ethiopian Nano Challe in the carafe is a win. Ultimately, their presence raises the bar for coffee across town and this is a good thing. Want the most consistently top-notch espresso though? You should still head across the street to Bucer’s.


In the drive-through department, the slick looking converted Airstream trailer that was Retro Espresso suddenly disappeared, a week after the grand opening of Dutch Brothers on the other end of town. Frankly, I’m surprised they stayed around as long as they did. They had really good quality drinks and food for a drive-through – too nice really. Perhaps they could have survived if the location were better. That intersection by dominoes is a bit funky. It’s too bad too – they had only recently purchased a pretty cool sign with a 1950s-style sci-fi rocket on top. Back in May they posted the following on Facebook:

A THOUSAND PARDONS to our friends and loyal customers. Personal circumstances forced us to close Retro’s doors and we are not sure what comes next. No worries on our behalf, please! But we are very sorry for the sudden change — we know how important good caffeine is to you all! We will provide an update once we figure all this out. Thanks to all for being so supportive!


Leave a Reply