Sunday, November 27, 2022

Coffee dispute a microcosm of our nation

| January 7, 2022 1:00 AM

Talk about a tempest in a coffee pot.

The former Calypsos Coffee Roasters on Lakeside Avenue in downtown Coeur d’Alene has for years been a place people could congregate, indulge in assorted nibbles and caffeinated beverages, and talk — quite often with political topics being bandied about.

But when new owners took over this week, some among the far-right crowd welcomed them with open arms while kicking the former owners in the arse. Because the coffee was weak? The pastry moldy? There was no soap in the restrooms? Nope. Because the previous owners were LIBERALS!

The previous owners of the coffee shop, now called Lyfe (Live Your Freedom Everyday) Coffee Roaster and Public House, did not wear politics on their sleeves. A co-owner, at the height of a crisis downtown in June 2020, simply acknowledged that many customers were uncomfortable with hundreds of heavily armed citizens patrolling the area. He also expressed strong support for the right to own and bear arms, so this wasn’t an anti-2A fanatic by any means.

His comment, however, was apparently enough for some in our community to brand the family leftist proprietors of a “craphole.” And the new owners? Patriots who love freedom, God-fearing conservatives who thought enough of the former president that one of the owners traveled to the nation’s capital last Jan. 6 to show her support for Donald Trump in his quest to overturn the election results.

What’s that got to do with the price of coffee beans? Great question. And the answer? Not a blasted thing.

One of the new owners, longtime resident Dave Miller, poured day-old dregs on the percolating controversy. He expressed strong support for the previous owners and laid out a sensible, business- and human-centric approach going forward.

“I don’t know anything about their beliefs politically but I don’t care,” he told The Press. “I care that people treat people with respect, people are kind, people are compassionate, and that’s exactly how the previous owners have been with me.”

Miller said he doesn’t enter a business wondering if it’s a left- or right-run enterprise.

“I think people are making it difficult,” he said. “People are looking for reasons to disagree, for reasons to separate. I’m looking for reasons to bring people together.”

Now, if you don’t like the coffee at Lyfe, or the service sucks or the toilets are clogged, fine. Don’t patronize the place.

But for everybody else? We raise a steaming cup to all those dedicated to bringing people together.

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