Lamplighter Coffee’s Fan location snuffed out by pandemic

Lamplighter Coffee Roasters has permanently closed its cafe at 26 N. Morris St. The coffee company, which has two other locations, moved into the Morris Street spot in 2014. (Jack Jacobs)

Lamplighter Coffee Roasters shuttered its Fan location to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Co-owner Noelle Forest said the coffee house chain’s outpost at 26 N. Morris St. was too expensive to run without the ability to reintroduce regular indoor service for the foreseeable future.

“The overhead is just so high and the view is just so uncertain,” said Forest, who is managing member of the company.

Lamplighter offers curbside-only service at its original cafe at 116 S. Addison St. The company’s cafe and roasting facility at 1719 Summit Ave. in Scott’s Addition remains temporarily closed to customers. Lamplighter temporarily closed the Morris Street and Summit Avenue cafes in mid-March.

The Morris Street spot opened in 2014, when Lamplighter took it over from Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream.

Though other eateries and cafes have reopened indoor dining areas as allowed by loosened public health orders from the state government, Lamplighter has chosen to operate in a more limited fashion. Forest said the decisions about how to operate during the pandemic have been a collaborative process between management and employees, and not everyone feels comfortable with reopening indoor areas yet.

“I won’t reopen the shop until the entire staff feels safe,” Forest said. “If we go out of business, then I guess we go out of business.”

Lamplighter doesn’t allow customers to enter the Addison Street cafe, instead handling transactions outdoors. The cafe, which is open daily, has set up a socially distanced seating area across the street from the cafe. Business has picked up, but it continues to be a challenge to keep revenue flowing, Forest said.

Lamplighter intends to reopen its Summit Avenue cafe to customers at some point, and reevaluates the cafe’s status monthly. Lamplighter has allowed Richmond Mutual Aid, a local activist group, to use the cafe rent-free since early spring. The group uses the cafe area to store donated goods and operates a call center there as well.

The company plans to renovate the interior and tweak the menu of the Summit Avenue cafe before it reopens to customers.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
11 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve Richmond
Steve Richmond
2 months ago

Why do so few people question this senseless lockdown. Even the CDC (in a report about 7 years ago) didn’t recommend a lockdown as a reasonable response to a pandemic. And now that we know who the vulnerable are, why do we persist in this irrational, hysteric reaction? Just segregate and protect those that need protecting. (Or, we could all just move to South Dakota or to Sweden where there is some measure of sanity.)

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Richmond

A Richmonder would suggest segregating…

We’ll be dealing with this pandemic much longer than moat countries thanks to our quasi lockdown. But hey, freedumb first.

Steve Richmond
Steve Richmond
2 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Smith

@Ashley – To twist the meaning of a word like “segregating” is juvenile, at best. Yours is exactly the overwrought emotionalism to which I am referring. Yes, the old and the infirm should be segregated from Covid (contrary to what Governor Cuomo did in NY). Covid-19 will be with us until the end of time. It doesn’t go away, which is why this lockdown is so irrational. (BTW, I am from the north which — to this day— is much more segregated than Richmond.) Ashley, I am willing to be that you think Lincoln launched the war in order to end… Read more »

Kay christensen
Kay christensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Richmond

The downvotes here are a tell tell indicator of the foolishness we’ve degraded to as a society…weak minded simpletons rule.

Larry Lanberg
Larry Lanberg
2 months ago

No, the # of downvotes proves what S.R. said/asked in his very first sentence.

Jeff Ensley
Jeff Ensley
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Richmond

I generally agree with the idea behind your post. With fewer descriptors like “irrational” and “hysterical” the idea might be received better… or at least received with fewer down votes. Lamplighter chose their path. A lot of businesses are trying to find their way through the pandemic and make themselves a temporary new normal model for business. Lamplighter appears to have barely tried and thus will be closing. It is unfortunate, but they have the freedom to do so. If the market is ready for it, hopefully a new cafe will open there.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jeff Ensley
Kay Christensen
Kay Christensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Richmond

Steve- you really ought not be so rational and speak the truth….the mob will try to cancel you.

Larry Lanberg
Larry Lanberg
2 months ago

I definitely agree with commenter Steve Richmond on this. I can’t quite figure though if this hysterical overreaction (to COVID) is just ignorance, or, if it is some weird type of political thing. But anyway, I hate to see landmark businesses close. However, in this particular case, it appears that Lamplighter wished it to happen.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
2 months ago

Attention editors-can we please get functions like “block” and “ignore” added?

karl hott
karl hott
2 months ago

COVID is real. You may not know anyone who knows someone who perished…but you will. It’s getting closer to you every week because too many citizens don’t take it seriously. That said, Lamplighter could’ve operated their indoor dining room but chose not to and thus their revenues plummeted. We should respect their decision to operate the business as they see fit.

Tracey Harvey
Tracey Harvey
2 months ago

Wishing this business continued success in these trying times, Kudos to the owners for prioritizing the health and safety of patrons and staff.