King 5 News: “Volunteer Park Cafe’s success not popular with all neighbors.”

2 Sep

Today, Eric Wilkinson of KING 5 News filed this report:

SEATTLE – The Volunteer Park Café is a place where people really do know your name. It’s a place where they sell honey handmade by a 14-year-old neighbor and where grow their own vegetables along the sidewalk outside …  Co-owner Heather Earnhardt says it’s because they’re all about building community.

But the café may be a victim of its own success. For nearly a century it operated as a quiet corner grocery store. Now it’s a full-scale restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week, and leaving neighbors with some unwanted leftovers … People living around the restaurant say a grocery store is grandfathered in to their quiet neighborhood by city codes, but a restaurant is not.

“It’s not legal,” (Cliff Meyer) said … He and others point to evidence of parking problems, noise and a possible expansion that could double the number of customers.

“They really have to work with their neighbors and be good neighbors. They’re burning us right now,” he said.

The cafe’s owners insist they’re trying to do right by the neighborhood.

You can read the full report and view the segment here.

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