Council supports Serious Coffee’s proposal

Willow Point coffee house will apply to sell alcohol so patrons can enjoy a brew or a glass of vino

The local owner of Serious Coffee is applying to the liquor branch to sell alcohol at the Willow Point coffee shop.

Owner Linda Riddell, said she has customers who would like a glass wine or a beer while the enjoy live music.

“Most of my entertainment is in the evening hours and most people don’t want to drink caffeine in the evening hours,” Riddell said.

When she first got into business her intent was to create a traditional coffee-house atmosphere.

Since then, Serious Coffee has open mic nights three times a week – with one of those nights reserved for youth, a jam night once a week, and a classical music morning once a week.

“It has become exactly what I’d like to see,” Riddell said, though she acknowledged it hasn’t been easy. “We’ve faced a few adversities since we opened. There was the road closure in Willow Point (for the Highway upgrade project) right after we opened, then we got hit with the HST and the economic downturn, so it’s been a difficult five years and if we don’t diversify we will be in financial trouble.”

Because it’s a franchise, she’s limited in what she can serve, but Serious Coffee has allowed Riddell’s store to be a pilot for testing out new menu items, including alcohol and sit-down meals.

But neighbour Darlyne Walker, who across the road, is concerned. She said the noise coming from the coffee shop is becoming unbearable, especially on warm nights when the back door of Serious Coffee is open. She is also concerned that adding alcohol into the mix may exacerbate the problems she has had in the past with youths who have played at Serious Coffee and continued on with their evening at Adams Park, causing a disturbance and trespassing on her property.

Riddell said all the entertainment would be kept indoors and the back access doors are rarely open. That satisfied city council which approved a food primary licence, which allows alcohol to be sold in conjunction with meals.