I’ve lived in South Norwalk for all of like five months, and almost immediately I fell in love with the city’s cleanliness, lack of crime, and availability of cheap, seemingly never-ending parking spots. It’s a true gem of not only the state of Connecticut, but all of the tristate area.
One of the other things that drew me to this area-besides my incredibly affordable apartment-was the bustling business area that is Washington Street. Whether food, art, clothing or entertainment, EVERYONE knows that Washington St. in SoNo is THE place to be and be seen. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s an even cooler place to be than hipster Williamsburg, Brooklyn!
That said, there was some terrible news late last week for SoNo residents and coffee lovers, as SoNo Caffeine, which served coffee, espresso and lattes for 14 years at 133 Washington St., closed their doors for good. The owner, Abdou Bennani who CLEARLY has no idea what the hell he’s talking about, said that Norwalk isn’t promoting the area properly, parking is troublesome and ongoing construction is negatively impacting foot traffic.
According to this article, Bennani said:
“A lot of people are disappointed, including myself, but that’s life. What are you going to do? A couple dollars for a cup of coffee. That requires a lot of foot traffic.”
And while I think that Mr. Bennani IS batshit crazy for his comments about foot traffic, he’s most certainly on-point with what he said about people being disappointed.
I asked a few of my fellow SoNo residents today about Caffeine’s closing, and they’re crushed. Honestly, it’s like they have lost a family member or something. Just take a look at what they had to say…
Kate J. 27, Graphic Designer- Washington St.:
“When I wanted a lukewarm latte for $7.00, SoNo Caffeine was my go-to. Their service couldn’t have been friendlier, too.”
Steven S. 37, Sales- Van Zant St.:
“This is BULLSHIT. Businesses on Washington St. are PRINTING money, man. Just look at that place A Taste of Holland. That place is a cash cow! How can Caffeine cry about a lack of success when they’re serving coffee that’s not only just kind of warm, but also seven bucks a cup?!”
Marcus H. 34, Hedge Funds- Water St.:
“I used to love how they didn’t open until like 8 in the morning. I mean, ANYONE can serve coffee at 6 or 7 am, but it takes tremendous business sense to not serve it until most people are already on the road or at work. Where every other coffee shop got it wrong, SoNo Caffeine got it right. It’s a shame they’re closing.”
Rocket 42, Heroin Addict- A shopping cart on Haviland St.:
“Give me some money, before I stab you with a filthy AIDS syringe!”
So as you can see, the residents of SoNo are extremely upset about this lone business going under on the bustling bastion of commerce that is Washington St. Godspeed, SoNo Caffeine. You’ll be sorely missed, and I sincerely hope you won’t be replaced by a Starbucks once that giant new apartment & condo complex gets finished.