Some years ago I wrote a short play inspired by the Homer Café. It was acted by professional actors in a cold read series on stage at the Anza Club.
In Fat Jack's several regulars are having their coffee on one particularly dark and rainy night. Their routine and their futures are interrupted by a stranger, who changes their lives.
The first time I saw the Homer Café I knew its time was over. The last rays of rare sunlight shone on the graying plaster walls. The café had not yielded to all the crummy weather and all the bad food served over the years, where it had stood at Smithe and Homer. One day with a friend I ordered a coffee and a Denver sandwich there. I savored every bite and now believe every Denver sandwich should be eaten in a doomed building.
The Homer Café is the ground floor of ultra-luxury condos built by The Beasley.
The space will be the new home for those with luck and financial prudence. This is in sharp contrast to the luckless who once dined here. It was a dark corner, lit by the lights from the inside of the café , a refuge for those who came here with pocket change to enjoy the cheapest coffee in town and a place to stay warm. It was a place for people to restore some dignity in a city that had moved on without them.
The café was short on charm even on its best days and nights. Today, the remains of the Homer Café are shielded by construction scaffolding. There are large billboards claiming the suites are “Sold Out”.
A different class of citizen dwells here. Instead of more light at the end of the day we only see more shadows.