brings retro vibe to area
Hemingway’s in Independence offers
art, music and more for the all-ages crowd.
Hemingway’s Coffee Spot is named for a cat, not the famed
It’s an important distinction, because Hemingway’s is anything but a stuffy
bookish coffee shop. Instead, the new all-ages music venue in downtown
Independence is funky, retro and laid back.
Hemingway’s opened July 4 in a spot formerly occupied by an antique store.
Owner Melissa Gable, 28, is a former preschool art teacher who had a vision of
bringing her love of kids, art and music together.
She took out a small business loan and set to work in April renovating the spot
in the 1907 building.
“I really think the coffee shop is the malt shop of 2000 and beyond,” Gable
said. “I wanted a real homey feeling where anyone could come and feel
A black brick wall accentuates splashes of red throughout the store. Window
seats are adorned with large, fluffy pillows and there are tables for adults and
kids alike. Bookcases are full of games, books and puzzles. For the month of
September, Hemingway’s is featuring art from Independence-area students on its
There is a new addition — large glass jars filled with local bands’ CDs.
Selling CDs is another part of Gable’s commitment to showcasing local music.
She said she wanted Hemingway’s to be an all-ages music venue from day one.
Anbot Rodroid played at the coffee shop on opening night. And she hired David
LiaBraaten, a local musician and former employee at the Governor’s Cup, to be
in charge of booking.
LiaBraaten said his vision for Hemingway’s is for the shop to be a place for
up-and-coming musicians to get their start.
“It’s small and it’s free, so it’s a perfect place for a young band to
play,” he said. “We want to showcase all kinds of music from our area.
We’ve already had everything from acoustic to pop to punk rock and garage
Gable is hoping to capitalize on the abundance of high school and college
students in the Independence area. While business started out slow in the
summer, she is hopeful that will change when Western Oregon University starts
classes at the end of September.
“It’s a new concept to have a place to come and hang out in Independence,”
she said. “The community has been really supportive. People like to see the
kids hanging out at a safe place and having a good time.”
Next up for Hemingway’s is an expansion of the menu — which will go beyond
organic coffee drinks into light lunch fare — and more music and art
activities. Gable said Friday concerts will remain free, but she isn’t ruling
out the possibility of a cover charge on other nights.
“There’s not enough music out there,” Gable said.
“We don’t utilize our artistic abilities enough, and music is another form
Hemingway’s Coffee Spot
Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 7 a.m.
to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays
Where: 215 S. Main St., Independence
Call: (503) 838-4221
Hemingway’s concert schedule
All concerts start at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Friday: G.A.A.G (see sidebar) and Agripod
Sept. 26: The Mopps, garage rock, and Eddie Machete & the Hacks, rock
10 p.m., Sept. 27: Two Lane Highway, blues
Oct. 3: The Morgans, country and classic rock
Oct. 4: Greenlea, acoustic rock
Oct. 10: The Cameras, indie rock and Anbot Rodroid, synth-pop
Oct. 17: Pilgrim’s Feet, folk rock
Oct. 24: Counterpoint, instrumental rock, and Luke, experimental indie rock