After 30 years in business a downtown coffee shop will shut its doors on Friday

The couple who own Side Street Espresso have decided to retire after 30 years in business.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:34 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Deb Seaton describes the decision she made with her husband George Gee to close Side Street Espresso, the coffee shop on G Street the couple has owned for 30 years as bittersweet.

Seaton, 69, and Gee, 80, have decided to retire — a decision Seaton said was right for them, but certainly wasn’t easy.

“As much as we are so prepared to embrace this,” Seaton said, pausing. “I get teary-eyed now.”

The business hasn’t left them rich when it comes to retirement, but Seaton said they chose to invest in community causes and count their wealth in the many relationships they’ve made with people who have come through their doors.

Many of those people have made a point to visit the coffee shop this week after hearing about Friday’s closure. Seaton said they’ve gotten flowers, well wishes, and countless hugs.

“You don’t understand how you touch people’s lives till you get to this point, “Seaton said. “And we are just so grateful.”

But the news has been tough for longtime customers.

“I feel very sad about it, I think it’s going to be a huge change to a lot of us,” said Richard Reed, whose been coming to Side Street for over ten years.

Reed said he would miss the coffee shop but miss Seaton and Gee even more.

“We love them. It’s love and they express it every day, “Reed said.

Seaton is collecting contact information from people who want to keep in touch. She said they might start an informal newsletter letting people know what they’re up to, as well as suggesting volunteer opportunities or events that people might be interested in attending.

Seaton said they plan to stay active in causes they find important — only now, they’ll have more time.

A send-off party for Side Street Espresso is planned at Snow City Cafe on Thursday, October 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.