As anyone who has ever opened a coffee shop can tell you, delays are beyond common. One failed inspection for lacking a sneeze guard and you are already a month behind schedule. But what is less common if for the delay to be cause by arson, which is exactly what happened to Shoreline’s Black Coffee NW.
As previously reported, the cafe was scheduled to open the doors to their northern Seattle shop when, the night before, a person or persons broke out a window and threw a Molotov cocktail inside the store as well as attempted to set the gas line on fire. Luckily, the fires were extinguished before much damage could be done to the structure. And now, just over two weeks after the scheduled opening, Black Coffee NW is welcoming in customers for the first time.
As reported by My Edmond News, thanks to the help of generous donations from the community, Black Coffee NW had their official opening date Saturday, October 17th. Black Coffee NW garnered community support after the attempted arson, receiving over $80,000 in donations “from both individuals and corporate donors.”
Black Coffee NW, a Black-owned coffee shop looking to be a community gathering space that supports youth of color, believes the attempted arson was racially motivated. Per My Edmond News, Operations Director Darnesha Weary states that “’there is no question’ the attack was racially motivated, given the family’s ‘unapologetic’ efforts to speak on behalf of communities of color.”
Black Coffee NW persevered, opening on Saturday for a truncated 10:00am to 2:00pm and drawing an estimated 800 customers. They have since moved to “regular” business hours of 7:00am to 1:00pm, operating solely as a drive-thru currently due to local COVID-19 restrictions.
The September 30th incident is currently still under investigation, with the FBI reviewing it to see if it should be considered a hate crime. Authorities are reviewing surveillance video of the incident, which has not yet been made public. No arrest have yet been made.