Everett’s Firewheel coffeehouse can’t pay rent, shuts down

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.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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