This sign says, “Welcome to this warm, picturesque, deliciously scented neighborhood coffee shop. Come in and relax in our big, cushiony easy chairs, or sit around a table with local friends enjoying specialty sandwiches, delightful Italian pastries, and all you can drink of the most aromatic, richest tasting coffee you’ve ever had.”
But to the people in my hometown, it also says, “Memories are worth holding onto.” This restaurant is the result of several years of hard work by two local physicians who bought the building, which was originally built as a movie theater in the 1940’s. It boasted all the movies by every big-name star in the business — and visits from a few celebrities as well. In its day, it was something the city was proud of and enjoyed with great regularity. However, during the 1980’s and 90’s it declined into a state of disrepair that was tragic to see on our main street.
The two doctors who restored it wanted to offer the community a restaurant, but they wanted to preserve the original intent of the building and the history that belongs to it. So they restored the movie marquee — with the original theater name — and the staircase with the glistening chrome handrail. Around the main eating area, they have hung huge photographs of all the biggest stars of the “golden years” of Hollywood. No one can go into this coffee shop without feeling they have entered the great movie era of the 1940’s and 50’s. It’s a great tribute to memories of another generation that are worth protecting.