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Farewell to M Coffee

This past weekend M Coffee served its last Max’s Special. After 40 years in business, the unpretentious downtown eatery, coffee house, art gallery and meeting place closed its doors.

I started visiting Max’s place regularly in 2005. On one of my first visits, I realized I had left my wallet in my office. Not to worry said Max, he’d start a tab for me. He knew where I worked. From then on, I had a 3x5 index card labeled Bill M. in a box under the counter. When my daughter started at Cunha, she could walk over after school by herself and get a snack. I gave her one of my business cards and a note the first time. From then on she would just ask them to ‘put it on my dad’s tab.’

I don’t know why this seemed so special. Maybe in this era of paying with your phone or swiping your credit card through an iPad, this simple form of trust kept me coming back. It made me feel like I belonged there, like I was part of their business. Maybe I wasn’t ever as regular as M Coffee’s true regulars, but that never mattered to the rotating staff of friendly faces behind the counter.

I’ll miss the greek salad and especially the sublime mango milkshakes. I’ll miss the art shows, and the eclectic music and the uncomfortable wooden booths. I’ll miss the pay as you go coffee bar (though not the bitter last cups). I’ll miss their scuffed up hard wood floors and the stack of two year old New Yorker magazines.

But mostly I’ll miss the comforting fact that a place like M Coffee existed on our Main Street for so long. And I suspect I’m not alone.

Did you frequent M Coffee? What will you miss most? If you'd rather share in the paper, send to letters@hmbreview.com.

Thanks to Louie Castoria and Nancy Stern for the photo of the last day at M Coffee.


Comments

"I don’t know why this seemed so special." (forgetting your wallet and they trust you to come back and make good.)

Because it was. That's what a small town is about. Thanks for the memories, McCoffee's. May your "little c" live in our hearts forever.


November 30th will be the first Sunday in a long time that we have not met friends and picked up our grandson at M Coffee, not counting weeks we've been traveling. It has been a comforting tradition, sometimes made more so by my long-suffering wife, Susy, bringing in a homemade coffee cake, or someone else bringing in a treat to go with the coffee.

Sheila, our younger daughter and Mason's mother, worked at M Coffee for several years. She and her husband, Kevin, got engaged there. Sheila and Susy each gave an art showing at M Coffee. It has been the site of many small events, too, such as a birthday or anniversary celebrated with friends (and sometimes mimosas), Max, the owner, was always open to that sort of thing.

I hope that the same Main Street location will again be a local, non-franchise coffee shop someday. Places such as M Coffee and Main Street Grill keep us rooted in local tradition.


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