Welcome to the neighborhood, Stella Cafe!
Earlier this evening I was walking back to my apartment from Caffe Ladro sipping a tasty pumpkin spice latté. I stopped by to peek at the new place opening up at the corner location at 1st and University, across from the front door of Harbor Steps and the Seattle Art Museum's Hammering Man.
While I was watching a worker complete the installation of the new sign, I started to chat with the owner of the shop, Rob Wilson. He invited me in to see his cafe.
While we were looking around, Rob offered to make me a coffee. I obliged and traded in my Ladro latté for a fresh one from my new neighbor. Stella coffee is smooth and delicious, and comes with a free French chocolate. While I chatted with Rob about his shop and his personal roasting operation, I had the pleasure of meeting his lovely wife, Josie, and charismatic son Alex. (Have you ever had a five year-old introduce themselves to you? It's adorable.)
With all of the coffee competition on this block (there's a Tully's, Ancient Grounds, Cherry Street, Online Coffee, and Ladro less than a 2-minute walk of my front door), it is the personal experience that makes the difference. Rob is already miles ahead in this game. In fairness, the owner of Ancient Grounds is awesome too, and the baristas at Online Coffee are some of my favorite in Seattle.
Stella Cafe makes a welcome contribution to the niceification of our neighborhood. Joining some of my already-favorite neighbors Ancient Grounds, De Medici Ming Fine Papers, and the newly-opened Four Seasons, we're slowly but surely squeezing out the pawn shops and payday loan store that still hang on.
Stella Cafe officially opens tomorrow morning. Rob plans to offer Italian paninis, vino, and do us a favor by selling sundries like milk. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood.