Ground for Community Action: Pick-A-Cup Closed on May 17.

News of Carol and Steve Kent’s decision to close Pick-A-Cup Coffee Club, the coffee-shop/community center that they opened six years ago traveled quickly and sadly through the Dempster/Dodge neighborhood – by e-mail, neighborhood Internet groups, telephone and face-to-face conversations.

Ms. Kent, left in photo, envisioned the place as a neighborhood gathering spot, where patrons would select a cup from the dozens hanging on the wall and enjoy tea, coffee, home-made pastries and conversation. Evenings and weekends brought meetings and entertainment: groups with local concerns and those with national issues, folksingers and drum circles.
Citing health reasons, Ms. Kent told the RoundTable, “I just can’t be responsible any longer for the day-to-day activities here.” Friends and employees rallied, holding a “Best Boss” party on May 7-9, at which local bands and singers entertained, donating part of the proceeds to Pick-A-Cup and Ms. Kent.

On May 11, neighbors and friends met at the coffee shop – hoping it would not be the last time – to look for ways to re-establish the place that, in only six years, has become a neighborhood icon. Also in photo are Michelle Mallin, center, and Mary Jane Galloway. Photo from friends of Pick-A-Cup