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Happy 20 years, Caffe Vita

IMG_9790New Year’s Day coffee drinkers from E Pike to Silverlake got a pleasant surprise Thursday as Caffe Vita priced all drinks at 95 cents to celebrate 20 years of business.

This spring as the E Pike flagship and roastery got a cosmetic makeover and spruce-up, CHS wrote about Vita’s E Pike by way of Queen Anne start — and Cafe Paradiso roots:

A bunch of friends were sitting around in the building, scratching our heads about what I was going to do and a friend brought up the idea of a coffee house and it was a success.  There are lots of stories and a few famous people including the great Jeff Buckley and lots of punk rock bands who played there.  My clothing business started picking up later in the 90’s and I was approached by Mike McConnell to buy me out so I did.

Vita has since grown to 11 locations including 6 in Seattle, one in Olympia, two in Portland, a cafe in Los Angeles, and another in New York City and its signature beans are found in cafes and restaurants across the country. (We’ve updated the tally — sorry about the error!)

10409761_10152629792990773_88352738788059276_nIt’s the second big milestone marked this week on this E Pike block. Nearby neighbor lesbian bar the Wildrose celebrated 30 years on Capitol Hill with a New Year’s Eve street party. In 2014, the Neumos family celebrated 20 years of Pike/Pine nightlife.

Last summer, Vita announced it was building a new cafe and roaster in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood:

Installing a 30 kilo Gothot roaster, the shop will also include tech service, cupping and training, ensuring that our East Coast customers continue to get the education on best practices for brewing our coffee. Constructed in a building that used to be a coffee shop, Vita’s will continue our rich history while adding to the past memories of the former shop.

The new Bushwick Vita is planned to open in March.

UPDATE: If you missed Thursday’s 95-cent coffees, don’t despair. There will be more chances to celebrate with Vita in 2015. “We will be celebrating 20 years of Caffe Vita’s independence throughout 2015 and yesterday was just the kick-off,” a company spokesperson tells CHS.


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6 years ago

9 locations in Seattle? I know there’s at least one in Portland and one in Olympia.

6 years ago

from the outside, it seems like this business is quite well-run. if i recall correctly, you can even buy the beans in california and new york, and other businesses serve the beans – the washington ferries is one of them.

so i’m impressed. and i believe the founder also has many other places he’s built too.

well done. congrats on 20 years. love the french press coffee too, it’s my preferred flavor profile.


[…] The sad news comes as the McConnell family’s Caffe Vita celebrates 20 years of business. […]