Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Farewell Espressoholic

I was shocked today to hear that one of the first real cafés in Wellington is set to close within a week or so. Espressholic has been around for 18 years on its current site in the middle of Courtenay Place. It was the only place to get real coffee, apart from at my nonna's, in a time when plunger coffee was a novelty and considered to be "the real thing". (Soooo glad we've moved on from those times!)

It's amazing how this graffiti-covered (it's intentional!) café has lasted so long in what has become such a fiercely competitive café culture in Wellington. Espressoholic has been part of our lives for so long, going back to my student days when all we could afford was one of their oversized hot chocolates, making it last for an unfathomable length of time until the milk finally went cold. The service was up and down like a yo-yo, but somehow having to do a running count of your order in your head (because you can almost guarantee it will cost a different amount every day) or calculating how much change you were due became normal practice and just added to its charm.

My memories at Espressoholic are numerous: endless people-watching from the corner tables; casual coffee meetings with anyone who happened to be in the area at the time; sending someone to stand in the long-winding queue even before the rest of your group had arrived, just so we could save a place in it and grab a table at the same time; wondering if the other door in the horrible outside toilet actually was locked; late night excursions in search of their famous chocolate silk cake before heading back into the madness of Courtenay Place at 1am on a Friday night; being dumped at one of the tables by the mirrors; being invited to join the Extreme Fetish group, who thought I'd made up a story about waiting for my partner (now ex - see previous comment) because I was too embarrassed to join their "new members' open night" meeting at the next table ... the stories go on.

Farewell, Espressoholic. I would be surprised if this phoenix could rise from the ashes at another location; somehow it just wouldn't seem right.

1 comment:

LLnL said...

I know what its like to see an establishment go that is attached to so many special memories; it can feel like a friend moving away.