Crossroads Cafe closed until further notice

Crossroads Cafe closed until further notice

NORTH BEND, Ore.-- A popular non-profit cafe is closing its doors until further notice.

Crossroads Cafe in North Bend is voluntarily shutting its doors while the city of North Bend replaces the sidewalk in front of the the store.

The city offered to put down ramps and loose gravel in front of the store to help patrons make their way to the cafe's front door, but that was just too risky for the cafe's operators.


"I saw the ramp that was down at one of the other restaurants south of here, and in our judgement it wouldn't be safe enough for some of our customers to be walking across," said Ethel German, Crossroads Cafe founder.

German said she was worried that senior citizens, who are prone to slips and falls and also rely on the cafe for meals, would hurt themselves while walking on the loose gravel that would replace the sidewalk.

The gravel is also impossible to access for people who use walkers and wheelchairs, German said.

The cafe had considered making the rear emergency exit as temporary front door during the construction, but that would mean patrons would have to trek down a back alley filled with used tires and car parts and when they reached the cafe, they would have to climb down a flight and a half of stairs. When the patrons were done, it would then be expected of them to make the same trek back to their cars as they did coming in to the restuarant.

"They don't have a place to park even with the ramp because many of them have mobility issues," said Susan Fox, Crossroads Cafe Resources Director. "You can't just ask them to walk a few blocks, and come in and have a nice meal, and [then] face the prospect that they have to walk another four blocks back. It's difficult."

Fox and German said they were expecting to see their cafe's sidewalk under construction, but they were not given enough notice of when it would take place. Because of that, they were not able to notify their customers of the closure.

"The notification we recieved was, and thank God he told us, one of the construction workers working on the sidewalk, came in on Friday and told us construction would begin on Monday," Fox said.

German said the minute the store found out about the sidewalk construction that same Friday, she began to gather contact information of regular customers.

"By the time we started doing that it was too late for many people," German said. "Some of our regulars had already eaten and left."

Fox said many customers are finding out the same way, through signs on the window explaining the situation.

And finding a place to eat a hot meal for just $1.50-$2.00 is not an easy task both women said.

"There are people who depend on us every day," German said. "It's difficult telling a man who comes to us for a meal that he needs to travel to the mission that is another two mile hike down 101, and they might be able to help."

The women said they are fotunate that much of the meat that was going to be cooked this week could be frozen in the freezer, but the produce that can't be chilled will have to be donated and given away.

A barbecue fundraiser was held for the cafe last weekend, but the money raised is now being used to help pay the bills.

"We a business just like everyone else," Fox said. "We have overhead... that money was to be used for special projects, but now it looks like it is going towards the rent and utilities."

Donations are being asked for, and the cafe expects to be closed just two and a half to three weeks.