Square Perk closes

The Covington News - - LIVING - Bfazio@cov­news.com

Af­ter al­most six years of serv­ing lo­cal res­i­dents cof­fee, lunch and com­mu­nity fel­low­ship, Square Perk Café has closed its doors start­ing Fri­day.

An­drea Smith, the owner of the down­town Cov­ing­ton cof­fee shop, lo­cated at 1105 Church Street, sim­ply said “It was time.”

Smith said she had been think­ing and pray­ing about the de­ci­sion on whether or not to keep Square Perk open for months, and Thurs­day de­cided that the end of the month was the best time. She placed a let­ter on the two doors of the café and posted a note to the com­mu­nity, staff and pub­lic on the Square Perk Café Face­book page.

“Thank you so very much for your sup­port for the past six years,” the post said. “We count our­selves blessed by all the friends and neigh­bors we have been able to meet and serve. Your friend­ship and sup­port have been the best part of Square Perk.”

Since Square Perk opened La­bor Day week­end of 2010, it has em­ployed more than 125 part-time work­ers and served the com­mu­nity more than cof­fee, muffins and sand­wiches.

“In the café, I’ve seen friend­ships rekin­dled, mar­riage pro­pos­als, peo­ple come to Christ, and a baby made there [the cou­ple met at Square Perk, started dat­ing, got mar­ried and had a daugh­ter]. A for­mer barista also met his fi­ancé there,” Smith said to the News. “I’ll miss the peo­ple, the cus­tomers, the friend­ships and the re­la­tion­ships. That will not fade or die.”

Friend­ships are what Smith had in mind when she opened the café, even keep­ing the tagline “Where friends meet” from City Phar­macy, the store which used to op­er­ate in that space. Smith said she wanted a quiet place to eat a quick lunch of a sand­wich or salad or grab a muf­fin and a cof­fee in the morn­ing with­out down­town em­ploy­ees hav­ing to leave the Square.

“There wasn’t a place to just run in,” Smith said. “I wanted to have a place we could gather.”

Many groups gath­ered at Square Perk, from busi­ness men and women to church groups and gar­den clubs. Those groups, along with many other cus­tomers, will have to find a new place to meet.

As of Fri­day af­ter­noon the post about Square Perk’s clos­ing on its Face­book page had 206 com­ments, mostly peo­ple ex­press­ing their grat­i­tude for the café’s six years and sad­ness for its sud­den clos­ing.

“So very sad right now,” Deveny Sea­graves said on Face­book. “Fond mem­o­ries were made here, and I al­ways loved stop­ping to get cof­fee, and how their cheese­cake al- ways hit the spot dur­ing my preg­nancy.”

“A sad day in Cov­ing­ton Square,” Shauna Par­sons said. “As a long-time cus­tomer and a for­mer em­ployee I’m deeply sad­dened by the news as the count­less others be­fore me posted. The Square Perk was much loved by many and will be greatly missed.”

Smith said she has no plans to open an­other café around town, and en­cour­ages her for­mer cus­tomers to sup­port other lo­cal busi­nesses.

“I want to say to my cus­tomers, thank you for the sup­port, for ev­ery­thing they’ve done for me, be­ing a sup­port­ive com­mu­nity,” Smith said. “If you’re choos­ing be­tween a lo­cal busi­ness that may be a lit­tle in­con­ve­nient to get in and out of and the con­ve­nience of a big box store, stay lo­cal and keep the money in your com­mu­nity.”

The Cov­ing­ton News

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