Janet and Susan Hada are regulars at Cafe Zippy. Come January, the sisters’ favorite coffee break spot will be farther from their office in downtown Everett.
The women work for the U.S. Forest Service in Everett’s Wall Street Building. On Tuesday morning, they came out of the rain into Zippy’s, at 2811 Wetmore Ave. They frequent the place about three days a week.
The offbeat coffee shop, which opened on Hewitt Avenue in 2005 as Zippy’s Java Lounge, will soon be on the move again. By early January, Cafe Zippy owner Marilyn Rosenberg plans to take her shop’s bohemian vibe, natural-foods fare and arts venue to a new north Everett site at 1502 Rucker Ave.
That’s the former home of Under the Red Umbrella, a cafe that closed in 2015. Like Cafe Zippy, Under the Red Umbrella was a popular gathering place with live music. Rosenberg hopes to be open on Rucker by Jan. 6, the first Friday after New Year’s. If all goes as planned, a grand reopening will include the local music groups Mts. &Tunnels and Beyond the Woods.
The north Everett site is owned by Colleen Scanlan, owner of The Parlor hair salon in the same building at 1504 Rucker Ave. A stylist in the salon for more than 30 years, Scanlan bought the building from her mother in January.
A location change wasn’t part of Rosenberg’s plan. She said a boost in rent “beyond what we can afford” makes the move a necessity. It’s a consequence of the recent closure of Trinity Lutheran College, which was in the old Bon Marche building at the corner of Wetmore and California Street.
Funko, an Everett-based company that sells toys and collectibles, is leasing the five-story structure at 2802 Wetmore Ave. from an investor working to buy the building, according to the commercial real estate firm Cushman &Wakefield Commerce. The former Trinity property includes a four-level parking garage building across the street — now home to Cafe Zippy.
Reviewing her lease offer for the Wetmore site, Rosenberg said that if she stayed her rent would increase $400 per month plus about $100 extra for utilities. Scanlan offered a better lease, she said.
She has met with staff in Everett’s Planning &Community Development department to seek a permit for her business, which she said will require public notice in the historic Rucker neighborhood. She also is working with the Snohomish Health District. Permits, she said, cost nearly $1,000. Her lease on Wetmore ends Dec. 31.
To help with moving and renovations at the new site, Rosenberg has launched a fundraising effort — “Cafe Zippy Needs To Move Quickly” — on the GoFundMe website. The goal is $13,000, which Rosenberg hopes will cover permits, plumbing and electrical work, floor fixes and other repairs. By Tuesday, $1,772 had been raised.
Rewards are offered for donations at certain levels, including rental of the new space, a dessert class, and personalized plaques for a wall planned at the cafe. In 2015, Rosenberg proposed converting Cafe Zippy into a cooperative business. That goal still is in the works, she said.
Zippy’s always has been more than a coffee shop. It hosts art displays, raw-food classes, game nights, poetry readings, improv comedy and live music. Rosenberg employs teens through social service programs. In 2008, she was honored with a KSER radio Community Impact award. And Cafe Zippy received one of the Everett Cultural Arts Commission’s Mayor’s Arts Awards in 2015 for a business making a difference.
The cafe bears the name of Rosenberg’s beloved Dalmatian. Longtime customers attended a memorial gathering for Zippy, who died Sept. 2, 2015. The spotted dog was ever-present in the cafe, and artwork of Zippy is still on display.
In 2015, Susan and Janet Hada were at the cafe to share Zippy’s 13th birthday party cake. They attended the dog’s memorial at Trinity Lutheran College. The move won’t be convenient for them. “It will be harder to get there, but that doesn’t mean we won’t,” Janet Hada said.
I live little more than a block from where Under the Red Umbrella was. Good coffee, food and music are sure to be welcomed back to my neighborhood.
“This is meant to be,” Rosenberg said. “It’s giving me room to grow.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cafe Zippy, a downtown Everett coffee shop and music venue, has launched an online fundraiser to help with moving and renovations at a new site, 1502 Rucker Ave. Donations may be made at: www.gofundme.com/cafezippy?r=61431