Crime /

Downtown Portland Café Closing Due to Being on the 'Front Line' of 'Extreme Violence and Criminal Activity' in the City

A café in downtown Portland is closing its doors due to “extreme violence and criminal activity” in the city.

Coava Coffee Roasters has resorted to giving employees de-escalation training and hazard pay in recent years because of how unsafe the city has become.

In a post on Instagram, the coffee company wrote, “We have decided to permanently close our downtown Portland cafe (1171 SW Jefferson St) with the last full day of operation being this Thursday, April 13.”


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A post shared by Coava Coffee Roasters (@coavacoffee)

The company explained that the staff at the location “have been on the front line enduring extreme violence and criminal activity on an almost daily basis for the last few years– crime and violence that is only increasing in frequency and severity. From theft, to physical displays of violence, threats of harm, break-ins, window smashing, and repeated traumatic in-cafe incidents where both staff and patrons feel unsafe.”

Coava explained that they have gone to great lengths to keep the café open, even as they watched neighboring businesses close “one by one.”

“We have brought all the resources to bear that we have access to: doubling up on shifts, locking one entrance, de-escalation training, hazard pay, and heightened management oversight,” the post explained. “This has proven to not be a temporary situation—and it is not a situation we can manage. Most importantly, it is not a situation where we can thrive. We cannot continue operation here as we cannot ensure the safety of our team and customers. Our neighboring businesses have seen it, too – and we’ve watched them close one by one over the past few years. Sadly, we now join them.”

The beautifully designed business opened in the summer of 2017.

Coava thanked the staff for their “bravery and work ethic navigating the daily challenges of working in this part of downtown Portland.”

In response to the announcement, many pointed out that the businesses and people of Portland are “getting what they voted for” — as the city is exceptionally liberal and light on crime.

Others expressed their disappointment to see the business go and hopes that the city will do something to tackle crime while remaining “compassionate.”

“This is devastating news and I’m sorry for the circumstances that led to this. We have to figure out a way to be compassionate and limit crimes impact on our quality of life,” a customer responded.

“I’m so sorry that the city has abandoned downtown businesses and is not doing its job to keep the city safe. But props to you for putting your employees’ safety first. Maybe someday we will see downtown thriving again,” Laura Bethrest wrote.

A customer named Mark Hefner wrote, “This is the tragic price all of us law abiding citizens get to pay when elected officials allow and promote anarchy to reign in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘individual rights.’ I am saddened and sickened by this news of Coava’s closing—my favorite Java spot in the city. More plywood on storefronts of our once vibrant downtown. How’s that for ‘progress?!'”

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