Today’s find: Last Call

“Soon” came a bit too soon at our local Breadco as far as I’m concerned.

The sandwich-board sign appeared outside the front door of the establishment only yesterday, with its ominous message:

“We’re relocating…and getting a drive-thru! This café will be closing soon to begin relocation.”

Uh-oh: New & Improved…

Much to my chagrin, “soon” turned out to be “today.” And therefore, as of tomorrow, our “after-daily-Mass” coffee klatch has to relocate – or, God forbid, disband.

Funny thing, how the company’s desire for a new-and-improved drive-thru winds up wresting from many of its early-morning patrons the chief charm of the old space – the fact that it was a comfortable place for a sit-down.

It’s a conundrum, as one of our coffee klatch regulars put it this morning. Where do we go for now (until the new place opens in a month-and-a-half)? Or should we even resume our gatherings there at all, given that the new location is much less conveniently located?

A drive-thru may be great for business, but it does nothing to foster the blessing of community.

Just a skeleton crew in the final days: Often our daily gab sessions at Breadco included twice as many guys.


Which is what I find myself mourning, I think. That’s what the venerable old place has meant to me (and many others) through the years. You can get a breakfast sandwich or a cup of coffee at lots of different spots along Manchester Road. But few of those places are as likely to encourage conversation and camaraderie as “our” Breadco did. It became a kind of holy ground for us – a place to kibbitz, sure. But also a place to comfort and greet and encourage and inquire.

I’m going to miss all that, I guess (unless some enterprising young folks decide to fill in behind the corporate café…with an upstart “indie” coffee shop of some sort. Hint. Hint.)

At the same time, I find that I am profoundly grateful for all the perfectly good hours I’ve wasted in the place – hours spent making (and solidifying) friendships; hours spent planning various works of mercy; hours spent debating, discussing and solving the world’s problems. It’s been a gift in my life, this humble home of community. So perhaps, along with mourning its demise, I can respond to the blessing that “our” Breadco has been…by keeping my heart open to the possibilities of where the Spirit may lead us next.

Here’s to one last round of java before we go…


Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.


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4 thoughts on “Today’s find: Last Call

  1. Jo Ann Barnett

    I think I know how you feel.
    Our Tuesday after-Mass group usually met at Petri Café in Granite City.
    Some weeks we might meet an extra day.
    Sometime we had one table and other times rearranged tables and chairs to meet the need.
    We had a visitor join us one day and were surprised when they asked for a menu.
    “Menu?” “They have a menu!?”

    Their final day was Dec. 31, 2019.
    The word of the closing spread quickly and when folks found out the place was packed.
    I called my son and he and the two grandchildren joined us.
    We were tightly packed around the table and were talking about this being the “last breakfast” we would be having there. I noticed my 8 year old grandson holding something in his hands and quietly saying:
    “He broke the bread and said take and eat this”!

    Looking back I think how fortuitous the timing considering the Pandemic was only a few months away.

    Jo Ann

    I’ve included a news link below.

  2. Bill Seyle

    And here’s to your word choices, your punctuation, your sentences so masterfully constructed and so perfectly arranged. I feel a holiness in that ground as well. And my soul is soothed in its presence.

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