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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Waddles Coffeshop RIP
Waddles, the iconic coffeeshop in Jantzen Beach, has closed its doors forever. The infamous "Eat now" sign went dark on May 23rd.
Back in the '80s, my family made occassional trips up there for breakfast on Sunday mornings although I'm not sure why. The food was the sort of thing that could be found in an number of restaurants in Portland. Maybe it was the huge, glowing sign with the cute duck. Since the 1930s it has served as a sort of "Welcome to Portland" marker; a signal that a long, boring drive from Seattle or Olympia was soon to end.
Whatever the appeal, we weren't alone. During Waddles peak, there would often be lines out the door, all consisting of patrons from down south. The restaurant also made its own spice for sale at the register in tiny bottles. A few years back, my grandmother bought a crate of the stuff that will no doubt be handed down from generation to generation for a thousand years.
As a child, I remember seeing another sign near the parking lot for something called the Duck Pond. It wasn't until years later that I realized this was the name for the restaurant's lounge. For a full decade I assumed there was a pond somewhere on the premise where a family of happy malards lived.
According to a KOIN post from Sunday, the owner was driven out by high rent and increasing costs. There were also rumors for years that Krispie Kreme had its eyes on the restaurant. The rumors are now a reality. A new franchise for the donut empire will take over the spot in the near future. Booooo! Long live the duck!