Commuter discomfortsFerry riders will lose their favorite java for a few weeks.
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:35 PM
"A much-beloved ferry terminal fixture, the Commuter Comforts latte and pastry stand, will disappear within the next few weeks. But almost as fast as a barista can whip up a double-tall, a new and improved stand will take its place.The building is going on about 15 years old and has just had it, owner Carole Keyes said. We talked about remodeling, but it just won't work.So Keyes commissioned Bill Nelson of Nelson Wood and Glass to design and build a replacement kiosk. And to save down-time, the new structure will be built off-site, trucked to the terminal and installed on a new foundation.I hope we'll be shut down for only a week or two, Keyes said.Nelson said the design calls for three service windows compared to the current two, plus an outside service stand.Nelson said the offsite construction should start by the end of this month. The swap-out of the buildings should take place between mid-February and early March, Nelson and Keyes say.Commuter Comforts has been a ferry-terminal fixture for some 20 years, the last nine under Keyes' ownership. And local commuters have demonstrated a sometimes intense devotion.In 1994, a would-be competitor opened up shop just uphill, at what is now the dry-cleaning stand. But the rival, Java Trading Company, was based in Redmond. And that invasion did not sit well with local commuters.An unofficial boycott took root. Not only was the newcomer roundly ignored, but people who hadn't regularly grabbed on onshore beverage before boarding the ferry began to do so as a show of support. Business boomed at Commuter Comfort. The competitor lasted less than a month.Although the new stand won't be much larger than the existing facility, it will be a considerable improvement, Keyes said.We'll have room for two espresso machines, so we can have two baristas and two assistants working there at the same time, she said. It will be much faster for the customers. "