A BELOVED coffee shop in Portland has been forced to close its doors for good after suffering from “extreme violence on an almost daily basis.”
Coava Coffee Roasters announced the closure of one of its downtown locations in a statement on Facebook.
After running it for six years, the Starbucks rival said that the closure of the Jefferson Street store was with a “heavy heart.”
The statement read: “We have decided to permanently close our downtown Portland cafe (1171 SW Jefferson St). with the last full day of operation being this Thursday, April 13.
“The team members at this cafe have been on the front line enduring extreme violence and criminal activity on an almost daily basis for the last few years– crime and violence that is only increasing in frequency and severity.
“From theft to physical displays of violence, threats of harm, break-ins, window smashing, and repeated traumatic in-cafe incidents where both staff and patrons feel unsafe.”
Even on its last day of business, the windows of the shop were seen boarded up due to prior acts of violence including a man launching a skateboard through the window.
Despite trying its best to implement further safety measures including de-escalation training, the company said: “It is not a situation we can manage.
“It is not a situation where we can thrive. We cannot continue operations here as we cannot ensure the safety of our team and customers.
“Our neighboring businesses have seen it, too – and we’ve watched them close one by one over the past few years. Sadly, we now join them.”
Coava coffee lovers in Portland will still be able to get their caffeine fix at its other two stores in the area.
Fans of the shop have praised its bravery with one saying: “This saddens me much.
“My friend and I visited friends and family there in September and truly enjoyed your shop.
“We also saw the disarray and destruction of poorly handled city infrastructure and the ignored homeless and drug issue.
“You have been a brave group to keep at it so long.”
Others have accused those in leadership with one saying that the decision is “heartbreaking” and that it “is just one more business that is a victim of Portland’s leadership.”
An editorial piece in The Oregonian newspaper discussed the issues plaguing the state and particularly, Portland.
It stated: “As much as Oregon has to offer, our housing unaffordability, homelessness, increasing taxation, drug addiction crisis, untreated mental illness, gun violence, traffic deaths, and educational mediocrity are changing the calculus for many about where to live, raise a family or retire.”
A number of former residents discussed beneath the shop’s closure statement how grateful they are to have left around 2018 after seeing what has happened since.
The editorial piece added: “Such little progress on both increasing housing and curbing unsanctioned camping is particularly frustrating, considering the state saw one of the biggest increases in its homeless population in the country from 2020 to 2022.”