Home is where the hotte is.

December 3, 2009

I hope someone got a bonus for coming up with "Hotte Latte"

So I returned home for the holidays to make the discovery that yet another bikini coffee hut has emerged in Lakewood with the addition conversion of Hotte Latte (KD’z Espresso) on Gravelly Lake Dr. This now makes two on a less than half-mile stretch of Gravelly Lake Drive, and four in a 1.5 mile radius. Classy!

While I’ve been a coffee shop bum for a good portion of my life, I’ve been a bookstore bum for significantly longer. My bookstore loitering goes back to elementary school, when I used to hang around the B. Dalton Bookstore in the Lakewood Mall where my mom worked in the evening. When B. Dalton–and eventually the Lakewood Mall–went the way of the dodo, I eventually migrated my loitering to the hip and happening new Barnes & Noble (now with free WiFi!) in the late ’90s.

The store. The myth. The legend.

The Lakewood Barnes and Noble was officially my very first coffee shop, and I’ve been a loyal patron since it absorbed the Lakewood Mall B. Dalton bookstore. Actually, I wouldn’t say “patron” as much as “cousin.” I can point out where the humor section was located spanning back five store re-designs, and recall the day I discovered the magic of cinnamon twists. It’s also where I fell in love with graphic novels, bought countless Christmas gifts,  reunited with long lost friends classmates, and was the site of the first and only time I ever asked anyone on a date (asked a barista out for coffee).

Lately I’ve branched out to check out some Lakewood’s other coffee offerings. I had initially not given Forza a fighting chance. In the last ten years they’ve thrived and expanded in the greater Puget Sound area. I’ve only had a chance to stop by their Bridgeport Way location for a cup o’ joe on the way out of town, and I was intrigued by their “relaxed atmosphere of dark African mahogany wood, Italian

All that and flat panel tvs? Now they're just showing off.

porcelain tiled floors and comfortable chairs near a warm fireplace.” I didn’t stay, but if I did I imagine it would be like like an afternoon of light coffee and masterpiece theatre.  I’ve not decided whether or not the knowledge that there are nearly two dozen afro-mahoga-Italia-porcea-firepla- comfy-chair locations makes it lose a bit of it’s luster. Then again, as we all know I’m not above being reined in by marketing.

If you’re feeling at all generous this holiday season, please consider a donation to the support the families of the rather horrific incident of violence at a Lakewood-area Forza. This kind of thing shouldn’t happen anywhere, let alone a coffee shop.

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