What your coffee house says about you

When I started at The Columbian in 1996, there was really only one coffee house in downtown Vancouver: Java House, 210 W. Evergreen.

I’ve stayed loyal to Java House, and it pays off, not only because it’s nice to start my work day exchanging pleasantries with Cora and Doris, but I pick up news tips.

As one online reviewer posted, Java House is “where you can hang with bankers, board members, business leaders and snoop in on someone’s interview or ‘off the premises’ job discussions.”

This morning, I was walking into Java House as Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes, who I’d wanted to talk to about the baseball proposal, was walking out. He mentioned that the baseball guys were inside.

Sure enough, K.L. Wombacher, co-owner and general manager of the Yakima Bears, and Short Season LLC project manager Mike Thiessen were having coffee with two people from the Clark College Foundation.

Yes, the very Clark College Foundation which has said it won’t be contributing to stadium capital costs. The point was reiterated last week by Clark College President Bob Knight.

What’s going on here? I asked.

I was told the Foundation was trying to find the “public interest.” And I left it at that. I didn’t pull up a chair and barge into their conversation. After some small talk, I left them alone.

Maybe the people from the Clark College Foundation just agreed to coffee so the team would stop asking for money. Or maybe people are scrambling to fill a 30 percent funding hole and, if they get close enough, the foundation will close the gap.

Either way, Java House isn’t the place to go if you’ve got something you want to keep a secret, as Andrea pointed out when I got into the office.

We talked about other downtown coffee places and what they say about you if you choose them for a meeting place: Dripster by River Maiden, 701 Main St., says you want great coffee and don’t mind there might not be a place to sit.

Mon Ami, 1906 Main St., says you’re younger and more casual than the Java House crowd.

And Dolce, 535 W. 8th St., says you work for the Vancouver Police Department or the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office.

Or you are just being considerate of the Columbian reporter, who works a block away.

And I don’t have anything against Starbucks, but I didn’t list it because most public officials want to support local businesses.

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