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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wheelhouse Coffee Company: A Nice Place to Drop in any Day

One of my favorite places along the River Walk is the Wheelhouse. We'll go inside in a minute, but notice the sign in the window for Tillamook Ice Cream. Tillamook is just down the coast, and you can tour the factory, buy locally-made cheese, ice cream, etc. The products are almost local to Astoria, and they're really good.

A few steps further along the River Walk, and we're beckoned inside. Who can resist?

This is the entryway. "14th Street Pilot Station" is the name of the building, and "Wheelhouse Coffee" is the name of the business. The open area with chairs is a place where anyone can come and sit, sip your coffee or brain freeze, eat ice cream, a slice of pie, a sandwich, a cookie, and look out the windows to some of Astoria's greatest attractions. Bonus points: you stay dry even when it's raining.

This is one view from the covered seating area above. You can see the green and white pilot boat in the dock. On the left is Baked Alaska, another of Astoria's excellent landmark eateries.

Turning slightly east and through the same windows, you can see a bigger dock where tug and tow boats are often found. Today there's no-one in the dock, so you get a clear view past the parked trucks to the 12th Street Waterfront Park (a pier and river-viewing station). The red building on the left belongs to the river pilots. Note the blue sky in the last direction, and clouds this way. It's so typical.

Inside The Wheelhouse . . . well, just take your pick. You'll meet the owner, Elise, her mom, or another helper at the counter. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, and that's one of the reasons it's always a pleasure to come here. The sign says, "If it wasn't for coffee, I'd have no personality at all." I hope that isn't true, because mine is typically a decaf.

Wheelhouse Coffee is new within the last few years. I remember before they opened, I said that what Astoria needs is a coffee house with couches. I got my wish, and there are a couple of them now. However, especially in colder weather, I usually sit at these bar tables by the window and look out at the town and the River Walk.

The decor is real stuff, like this life preserver from one of the bar pilot boats. Besides nautical things, there are usually wonderful photos of Astoria and the Columbia River as well as buyable art.

After a nice cup of coffee and a moment in the sun, you walk out between the counter with home baked cookies on the rack and a cabinet featuring pies and oatmal cake made by Elise's mom. Good luck getting past without buying something! Elise's mom is a fantastic baker. Well, back to work. Be back soon.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.


Clytie said...

What a fantastic place. I love the decor, perfect. Maybe sometime ... soon ...

Small City Scenes said...

Nice tour of the coffeehouse. Excellent views--inside and outside.

Sheryl, you can use any picture you want. Isn't that bench fab. There are more. MB

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