Crosstown spot hosts new coffeehouse
The corner of High and Encinal that was once occupied by the Crosstown Coffeehouse & Community Center is home to a brand-new coffee place called High Street Station. The coffee house’s managers – two of whom are also the building’s owners – did a “soft opening” on December 19 and are planning a grand open from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on January 30.
Susan Timney, and Alameda native and one of High Street Station’s three managers (and co-owner, with Lynda Kretlow, of the building where it resides), said she and Kretlow decided to open the coffeehouse themselves after several months had passed without any bites on their “for lease” sign after Crosstown closed on July 24. Both have experience in the food and beverage biz, Timney said (Timney’s got a catering business; Kretlow works for the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco).
“We decided it would be better to get something going for the community,” Timney said. “We just want it to be a nice, comfortable place for everyone to come to.”
The pair, who are managing the new business with David Parkin, have gotten a mixed reception from neighbors, some of whom are still angry about the beloved Crosstown’s closure. (Crosstown, which was started by the head of a local church and a group of volunteers and was open for three years, closed in July following a running dispute between the Crosstown folks and Timney and Kretlow over who should pay for renovations and other costs.) The situation has led to some angry posts on Alameda Parents Network and negative reviews on Yelp.
Timney didn’t want to comment on the situation, saying she preferred to focus on the positive things she is doing. (She said the Crosstown folks are “good people” whose mission they embraced.) A poster to Alameda Parents Network who identified themselves as an original member of the group that founded Crosstown did not respond to an e-mail requesting additional comment.
“We want this to be a great neighborhood place,” Timney said. “That’s what we’ve wanted the whole time.”
Timney & Co. are serving coffee, pastry, salad and sandwiches now, and Timney said she’s hopeful she’ll have a working espresso machine before her grand opening, which will also feature live jazz music. The trio are also working to get a license to sell beer and wine, which they’ll sell on the Encinal side of the coffeehouse. The toys and kidgear are gone, replaced by art depicting Alameda’s train-town past. Timney said she’s hoping to set up a calendar of music and other events, too.
High Street Station’s address is 1303 High Street, and its phone number is 995-8049.