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Latte Litchfield, 13088 Ocean Highway: 14 December 2013   4 comments

Posted at 11:52 pm in Uncategorized

As I headed for my morning coffee fix at the beach last December, I found myself rudely surprised as my go-to location, Latte Litchfield was closed.

The building itself has been there forever, but I cannot recall the last tenant. When I first became aware of the place, it was a Christian coffee shop. As far as I could tell, the only practical effect of this from a customer point of view (unless you opted to attend the gatherings listed on the bulletin board) was really pleasant baristas.

I'm not sure if the place changed hands or what, but gradually that aspect was dropped, and the Internet Cafe aspect came forward. During that period, I would often stop by to get my network fix, or to print work documents I had to deal with. As DSL and cable penetrated the area, I did less of that, and I think the same applied to others and the orientation shifted once again. Though the computers and wireless were still there, the place sort of shifted to being a working art gallery with various pieces on display and an artist occasionaly working on new ones.

For a long time, the cafe was connected through an interior archway to Eggs Up Grill and though they were run as separate businesses, you could drift out of breakfast at the one and into coffee and pastries at the other. When Eggs Up moved to the Litchfield Piggly Wiggly plaza, the archway was drywalled, and access to the new restaurant there was cut off. I suspect the Eggs Up move hurt business a good bit. Likewise (as is, I believe, gently hinted at in the closing notice), the plaza started bringing in other businesses that directly competed with Latte Litchfield. For instance, they served froyo as a sideline at one time, and the plaza brought in a separate froyo business right next door to them. Likewise for lunch items and a new restaurant two doors down.

I guess now I never will get the final punch on my free-cup card.

Written by ted on February 5th, 2014

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4 Responses to 'Latte Litchfield, 13088 Ocean Highway: 14 December 2013'

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  1. I used to pick up from here almost every morning while at Litchfield, which was quite often in the off season. It was originally owned by the same family that owns Eggs Up Grill, and they sold it when they moved, to a former employee I believe. She gradually changed things to where it was less appealing to me at least, and my wife swore the frozen mocha drink she always craved from there was changed somehow, and she no longer craved it. I had definitely noticed declining numbers of patrons over the last couple of years when I did go.
    I suspect the loss of foot traffic from Eggs Up Grill and the changed ambiance hurt, but the Starbucks opening up at Litchfield By the Sea was the prime factor in the decline in business and ultimate demise.

    Kevin

    6 Feb 14 at 10:35 pm

  2. I swear that now that McDonalds has decided to actually pay attention to it they make a better cuppa than Starbucks does..

    Closer for me down there too.

    ted

    6 Feb 14 at 11:16 pm

  3. The downside with McDonald's is that "price and participation may vary" and still, in 2014, there are McDonald's that don't offer most of the coffee specialty drinks. Just you try going to the one at Clemson & Hard Scrabble and order something as basic as an iced mocha. Starbucks may be overpriced and bad about over-roasting their beans, but at least you know going in what each one sells.

    Jason

    8 Feb 14 at 10:14 am

  4. I talked to the owners a few months ago and they moved it up to Surfside (I think) because business at Litchfield during the winter was too slow.

    Paige

    22 Feb 14 at 2:10 pm

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