The story of a coffee house
Tripio opens with a prologue, which was the suggestion of my editor. He felt the book needed something to grab the reader right away. My immediate reactionary, immature and arrogant thought was that Tripio is great and that its greatness demands patience! Those thoughts did not travel from my mind to my mouth and I mumbled a more agreeable and conciliatory response to my editor.
As it happened, just before that conversation I had been looking through my notes and old journals for the want ad I responded to for the job at Starbucks. I did not find it but knew I now wanted to use the original want ad for the prologue.
The prologue finds Jay working at the Oregon Street Coffee house in Dayton, Ohio. That coffee house was situated in the middle of a slowly gentrifying section of downtown Dayton called the Oregon District. The Oregon Street Coffee house had neighbors that were becoming upscale bars and restaurants.
It stayed opened for a while
The neighborhood could be described as up and coming, but that could not be said for a good deal of Oregon Street’s regulars. Oregon Street opened its doors at nine in the morning. The regulars would take their stools at the bar and spend hours there sipping their coffee, smoking cigarettes, and discussing their plans for the afternoon or evening. Those regulars were indeed sitting at a bar, because the Oregon Street coffee house was a real bar for many years before becoming a coffee house.
But in Jay’s time the drink they served there was warm and brown coffee supplied by Dayton’s one and only coffee roaster. The regulars and the history of the place were only a couple factors contributing to the character and unique vibe Jay found while employed at the Oregon Street coffee house. The coffee was not what Jay liked however. Later in Tripio Jay admits that “the Cosmodemonic does the coffee right’, after he tries a cup of coffee at a coffee house in Chicago that reminds him of Oregon Street’s brew.
The visits Jay takes to his “coffee house under the tracks” show that Jay is homesick for his artsy coffee house in Dayton. At the same time, he acknowledges that his new employer has better coffee. Tripio is set in 1992 but Jay’s choice in where he finds his coffee fix has been repeated millions and millions of times by millions and millions of people. In the novel, Jay is simply going about his life making day to day decisions.
He wasn’t choosing sides in any debate over whether his employer was responsible for the closing of coffee house like Oregon Street. That is the subject for books to come. Jay is about to face life changing circumstances which will make him decide bigger things than where to get his coffee: his employer is growing and is offering opportunities, he is trying to sell his first novel and his new lover is expecting a baby.
It closed a long time ago
By the way, if you are ever in Dayton, don’t bother looking for the Oregon Street Coffee House, it closed a long time ago.
But is open again in my novel in progress
This is repost from back a couple years. Maybe this post was the first step in placing my next coffee novel in a coffee house called the Trier, clearly based on my time at the Oregon Street Coffee house. Stay plugged in for more on The Trier.
Tags: coffee, Coffee and Starbucks, dayton, International Coffee Day 2022, novel, Oregon district