February 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM
Sketched Jan. 30, 2013
Most people know the first Starbucks is at the Pike Place Market. But how about the first Tully’s?
Company founder Tom Tully O’Keefe told me it was in a shopping center near Panther Lake in Kent, but has been closed for more than a decade.
As far as he remembered, the next Tully’s coffee shops opened in Mercer Island, Clyde Hill and Capitol Hill soon after in the early ’90s. The one in Clyde Hill, a city on the Eastside I had yet to visit, used to be his home store when he lived in Medina. That’s where I headed to learn more about the coffee chain that was recently acquired by Global Baristas, an investment group led by TV star Patrick Dempsey.
Asked about what makes Tully’s different from other coffee shops, baristas and patrons told me the coffee is better, the staff friendlier and the atmosphere more intimate.
Janet Hollander, who stops by daily, gave me the most straightforward answer: the Madagascar Vanilla Latte. They don’t make her favorite drink anywhere else.
Coffee shop manager Joel Pearson has fixed drinks for the likes of Steve Ballmer and the Gates family since he started working here six years ago. That’s nothing to be surprised about, he said, given that Clyde Hill and the surrounding communities of Yarrow Point, Hunts Point and Medina rank at the top in the state based on per capita income.
Because of its location right off the 520 Highway, this Tully’s has also become a convenient destination for Seattle and Eastside professionals to meet, said Pearson, who guessed the number of people who spread out on the tables with their laptops in the “hundreds per week.”
Do you feel any strong affiliation to our homegrown coffee-shop chains? I invite you to share your comments here and on my Facebook page.
June 22, 2011 at 7:49 PM
Sketched June, 14 at lunchtime
After sketching at Madrona Beach last week, I stopped for lunch at Pert’s Deli in Leschi. I had never been there and it was a nice surprise. Not only because my Italian sub was delicious — perfect crunchy bread — but also because I got to meet owners Massimo and Mai. Mai actually recognized me as “the cartoon guy from the newspaper” as soon as I pulled out my sketchbook and started drawing from my table. She was really excited and went to get a copy of the paper with my column to show me and Massimo. It’s strange to be recognized, but, on the other hand, it makes my job so much easier as I don’t have to explain what I do.
I just went into sketching-mode, drawing and asking questions while Massimo offered me a sample of Neapolitan-style carrots, which are marinated in vinager, olive oil and garlic, and sweet and tangy broccoli. They were very tasty. It was just like having tapas pretty much.
Massimo, a native of Naples and former seaman, said he and Mai have run the deli since 1996. Massimo said his last name is Melchiori, but people often call him Mr. Pert. He doesn’t mind though. He joked they should have changed the name of the deli to the “Ex-perts.”
Based on my experience, that would have been appropriate. He nailed the type of Spanish-style café con leche I ordered, which in Spain we call “cortado.” It has a shot of espresso and a bit of milk, not foam, like the Italian “macchiato.” “When you taste this, you are back in Spain,” he said as he poured the coffee.
May 27, 2011 at 9:18 PM
Sketched May 23, 2:49 p.m.
During my visit to Finn Hill (see previous post) I stumbled upon a historic drive-thru espresso on Juanita Drive NE across from Village Mart.
Owner Katrina O’Malley said her stand used to be a toll booth on the 520-bridge from 1963 until 1979 (see a plaque she keeps inside.)
Some readers may remember those years of tolls at the longest floating bridge in the world, and more may remember when the drive-thru was called “Toll Booth Espresso” under a previous owner, said O’Malley, 36, who took over the business last December.
It’s interesting to think that history is catching up with this old metal box. As tolling starts again at the bridge soon, likely this summer, commuters who opt to drive around the lake to avoid the tolls may find themselves pulling up for coffee at this former check-point. At least that’s what O’Malley is hoping for.
Sketched May 23, 2:10 p.m.
Rewind: I spent a day sketching on the 520 bridge back in February. See the post here if you missed it.
May 26, 2010 at 3:56 PM
May 11, 4:59 p.m. [Click sketch to view larger]
Last time I drove by this intersection in Everett I decided to stop for a sketch. High Flying Espresso is at 112th Street SW and Airport Road — have you gone by it?
I see many coffee kiosks around Snohomish County all the time but this one caught my eye. The cup of coffee on the roof looks as if it is ready to take off.
I later talked to the business owner, Linda Thomas, who said the cup used to be part of a float in a parade in Seattle. When Thomas and her husband sold the original structure 10 years ago, they kept the cup to put it on top of the new stand. “It’s become a landmark,” said Thomas. “People will say ‘meet me at the cup.’”
Drive-through coffee kiosks in suburban Seatttle seem to be everywhere now, but that wasn’t the case when High Flying Espresso opened in 1991. “We were the first one in the area,” said Thomas. “There probably wasn’t one any closer than 5 miles to us, probably 10 miles.”
A lot has changed since then, but not our craving for coffee.
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