Not only has Reo’s Coffee and Hot Dog Emporium opened up next to Pop Culture (which specializes in sodas and hot dogs) but they’re close enough to Mon Ami—the popular community coffee stop—that I could fetch creamer from there before my coffee from Reo’s gets cold. Yes, there’s also Dulin’s Coffee and Espresso, Starbucks, Paradise Café, and Rosemary Café also within comfortable walking distance on Main Street, but to my knowledge none of them sell hot dogs .

A coffee and a hot dog.

Yeah, I forgot to take the picture before eating half the hot dog. I nearly lost a finger getting it away from me.

Coffee and hot dogs. In the immortal words of The Little Prince, “what a queer idea.” Well, not really. According to a quick google search, apparently New York and Boston are all about the hot dog and coffee thing. In my experience, if you take the word “coffee” in the Northwest yellow pages and replace it with “hot dog” you pretty much get New York City. There’s nothing really clashing about coffee and hot dogs, and it’s not like you can get both at either Mon Ami or Pop Culture. Reo’s has got a good spot for foot traffic, and the hot dog was actually pretty good. Perhaps they are onto something.

Like any shop just finding its legs, they aren’t quite a well-oiled machine yet, which is okay, given that they’ve only been open for five days. The staff is friendly, and like any good new business, they seem to already have plenty of friends in the area. It’s a good place to meet new people, because Reo’s is small—six tables—and everyone is in pretty close quarters. That could be good or bad, depending on whether or not you want to meet your neighbor.

Santa Cliff

Santa Cliff, in and out of costume. I asked him for a Roomba.

Well, I did happen to meet my neighbor, who happened to be Santa Claus (Santa Cliff, actually). Mrs. Claus showed me pictures of their children, one of which was a musician and actress, and that got SC and I to talking. We chatted for an hour or so and he shared stories about everything from Mexico and Willie Nelson to education and photography. For a guy with such a hectic job, he’s a pleasant man—talkative, quick with a joke, and rather jolly.

So yeah. Check out Reo’s. You may run into Santa Claus.

“You gotta’ have fun.”
-Santa Claus