EVERETT — The Firewheel Community Coffeehouse was shut down Wednesday morning after the owners fell behind on rent.
Co-owner Mike LaPointe said Snohomish County sheriffs’ deputies showed up shortly after 8 a.m. to evict him and change the locks.
LaPointe had been trying to raise $20,000 in donations to help pay back rent, but only succeeded in bringing in about half of that. His landlord had required him to come up with $6,000 every two weeks until his debts were paid off or face eviction.
LaPointe said he was able to pay back about $12,000 over five weeks, but couldn’t keep up the pace, even as business was improving.
LaPointe took over the coffeehouse five years ago to keep a town hall type of space open where all were welcome. Many groups used the Colby Avenue shop for meetings and a gathering spot. The shop also regularly gave free cups of coffee to homeless people.
“I didn’t get evicted today, about 1,000 people got evicted today,” LaPointe said.