The wind has upended one of the umbrellas outside the venerable coffeehouse ReJAVAnate, but no one seems in a hurry to right it. It’s the final day of business for what has been a launching pad for many local bands and artists, where the coffee and sandwiches are almost secondary to just being here. It’s all about to come to an end, just one more slasher victim of a hockey-mask-wearing economy.
The lone employee left, 18-year-old Nadia Cody, keeps as busy as she can with the handful of customers shuffling in, but there’s no denying the day is an emotional one. Some memories here will last a lifetime, including her first performance at open-mic night, where she sang and played piano, or the death of one of ReJAVAnate’s patrons in a car accident, after which some of the regulars attended his funeral and returned to the coffeehouse to share memories.
One couple takes advantage of the last day of free Wi-Fi. “It sucks,” says Tam Lopez, who hosted a live painting show at ReJAVAnate last year, and who loves the location’s food and atmosphere. Alex Gallo, a photojournalist who’s enjoying his second visit, is completely unaware of the impending closure until I clue him in. “Oh, that sucks big time!”
The only other activity is a group of women in the back, a scrapbooking group headed up by Cody’s mother, Laila Parker, who’s been meeting here once a month for the last four years. She’d had handshake agreements with the three previous owners, and hopes the business reopens soon. “I guess in the meantime we’ll have to hold this at my house,” she says, after which she hands me her business card and asks, “So, what do you do with your photos?”