Broadway Black Rock: Respecting History / by Becky Rude

From The Columbian

Black Rock Coffee goes downtown

Shop opened this month at former Sparks Home Furnishings site

"Anyone familiar with the old Sparks store should recognize a few reminders inside Black Rock. The large “R” from the Sparks sign sits high above the counter. Some of the light fixtures came from Sparks. Near a sitting area, there are two bookcases with a brick wall between them that came from the outside of the building. On that brick wall sits a large photo of the Sparks family from the 1880s that was provided by the Clark County Historical Museum. There is also a sign hanging in the shop noting the Sparks family was an instrumental part of the community.

'Coming into this space, we wanted to respect our history,' Hagler said. 'Sparks was a big part of the community, and we want to respect that while continuing to help Vancouver move forward.'

Hagler looked for a spot in downtown Vancouver not only because the area was attracting businesses but also because it was becoming a place for people to come and hang out. Hagler highlighted the downtown farmers market and art walk as events that bring people to the city center.

'Downtown is in this adolescent phase right now,' said Greg McGreevey, operations officer at Hurley. 'I think the change started with Esther Short Park and the Hilton. Downtown used to be a place businesses came to just because it was cheap, but now you have regional companies looking to come here. You have chefs from Portland looking to come here. The next step is to get permanent housing, which is coming. It’s this progression, and it’s already underway. The waterfront is going to be a big part of that.'”

Black Rock Coffee Bar - Broadway Entrance