Sad news from that most excellent pie baker, sandwich maker turned Wieden + Kennedy diva Robin Rosenberg that her downtown coffee shop the Half and Half will close on April 30 after an almost 10 year run. One of the few cafes as devoted to the quality of its coffee and cooking as to its hang-out experience, the Half and Half will live forever in this Oregon lottery ad as well as in the hearts and minds of its legions of deviled egg lovin', fruit-pie cravin' devotees. But here's the silver lining: Joel Domreis' Courier Coffee Roasters, known for hand-roasting and bike-delivering, will take over the space at 923 SW Oak St. Plans for the last hurrah include all the hard-boiled eggs Rosenburg can stuff, dozens of their famous sandwiches, customer portraits, Miller High Life and more until the official key to the kingdom is handed over at midnight.
· Half and Half [Official Site]
"In the year 2000, before there was Whole Foods and luxury condominiums in the Pearl, a friend and I opened up a tiny little cafe across the way from Powell's Books. We named it Half & Half. We made a wren our mascot, had a taxidermy display, sold cigarettes and fluffernutter sandwiches, and didn't put out a tip jar until our customers yelled at us. We were the only coffee shop selling Stumptown coffee in a 5 mile radius. A lot has changed in 10 years. I like to think that Half & Half contributed to the food and arts culture in more ways than just making great pie and deviled eggs. We invented more than 300 sandwiches, and painstakingly named every single one. We sold coffee delivered to us by bicycle. We made iced sweet tea for all you displaced southerners. We served unemployed musicians, artists, architects, students, strippers, construction workers, freaks and ad-folks with equal zeal. You can find us in a YACHT video, a Gus Van Sant movie, and a TV spot for the Oregon Lottery. If it wasn't for Half & Half, I probably wouldn't be working at Wieden + Kennedy. And now, after 9 years and 7 months in business, we are closing shop. On April 30th, we will make our batches of deviled eggs and iced coffee and we will say goodbye to a community that helped create some of the best 500 sq feet the world has to offer. Half & Half could not have existed in any place but Portland, in any time but the last decade, and without the customers and staff who supported and sustained it.
In the next 2 weeks, I hope you have the chance to eat or drink there for your first or last time. On April 30th we're taking customer portraits outside the cafe and we'll be making sandwiches, deviled eggs and serving Miller High Life until we run out of inventory. We have the space till midnight, so let's see what happens.
Courier Coffee Roasters will be taking over the space at 923 SW Oak. We've been serving Joel Domreis' hand roasted, bicycle-delivered coffee since 2007 and I know the neighborhood is in excellent hands.
Fans of the Half & Half are encouraged to visit our page on Facebook and contribute stories or images for a scrapbook zine we hope to have on our 3,495th day of business.