This new coffee shop on Kirkland Avenue is bright and buzzing with its sleek lines and urban flare. Jeanette Van Belle (pictured left) always wanted to open a coffee house, so when the timing felt right she decided to go for it! She and her mom, who also co-own a dog kennel, shipped off to 'coffee school' in OR and learned the biz. Mom decided to stick with the dogs, but Jeanette found a great spot right across from the Kirkland Performance Center to open up the St. James Espresso (fondly named after her Scottish terrier, Jimmy). You'll notice paw-print cutouts in the chairbacks and doggie treats for sale on the shelves in his honor.
The St. James has a welcoming floorplan with flat panel TV's and plenty of seating. The crowd seems mostly armed with laptops- there's free wi-fi and a power strip lining the counters which is oh-so-convenient. Or pick a leather seat near the fireplace and grab something from neatly organized magazine collection on the wall. There are also books and plenty of games- lots of the classics like "Connect 4", "Battleship", "Risk" and "Sorry" which I will gladly kick your butt in, upon request.
We stopped in after dinner, so haven't had a chance to sample the food yet, but it all looked very tempting. They have paninis and soups (which often get marked down 50% in the evening!), not to mention grilled cheese for the kiddos and of course fabulous desserts that made me drool on their pretty glass case. The Caffe D'arte coffee was delicious, and how could you not smile at that pretty heart-shaped swirl in the foam? Every detail of this coffee shop has been well thought out and it shows. Stay tuned--they are working on getting their license to serve beer/wine--which is brilliant with the KPP across the street!
Stop in before March 15th and mention the Kirkland Blog to get 10% off. WooHoo! ~Janis