Black Coffee Co-op, the anarchist-owned “worker co-op, cafe and community space,” located at 501 E Pine St., announced on Sunday August 17 that it is closing its Capitol Hill location in the fall in search of a new, more permanent space.
Black Coffee is a worker’s cooperative, café, and community space that serves specialty vegan food, pastries, and coffee, along with hosting community events, live shows, a zine library, and independent literature. It established its Capitol Hill home in Fall of 2012, with a goal to create a space that is co-run, supportive of its workers, and where knowledge and resources can be shared.
According to an online announcement, Black Coffee is searching for a more permanent home, and is due to close by Halloween of this year.
“We are leaving this location so that we can adjust to what our communities need and provide what we can, with an eye to the long term,” the statement said. “We are trying to remain guided by our communities as a project of anarchist infrastructure, a small contribution to the project of building the commons.”
The announcement further went on to highlight the factors that made the space difficult to maintain in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
“The challenges of challenging Empire and colonialism and all the other ‘isms that come with them, internally and externally,” the statement said. “Putting a bat behind the counter, after learning that sometimes words just didn’t work. These are all memories and experiences we’ll take with us, whether we wanted them or not… the easy answer is that Capitol Hill is becoming Capital Hell. There is more potential in leaving.”
Along with announcing the search for a new location, in light of widespread protests occurring all over the Seattle area, the co-op has generated buzz for claiming they experienced harassment and surveillance after refusing to serve police officers this past week.
“Despite this coming at a time when we’ve already decided to move on, this kind of petty harassment is not a serious threat to us,” Black Coffee said in a Facebook post. “We do what we do to keep ourselves and our community safe. They haven’t stopped us yet, and people around the world are dealing with much more serious police aggression.”
Black Coffee has made a firm statement that it will continue to serve its communities, and has set up a fundraiser on IndieGoGo to fund the deposit and move out costs in finding a new place. They are looking to raise $30,000 by October 16.