Rumor Has It

Of beginnings and endings:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

“What’s going on at Kombucha Town?”

It took a few people asking me that question before I figured out what they were really referring to was the Culture Cafe, a distinction without much of a difference in the past, but one that has now become more important.

To rewind: On Nov. 1, the Culture Cafe, which lives in the basement of the Herald building as an offshoot of Kombucha Town, closed, seemingly rather suddenly, for “renovations.” Turns out it really was for renovations no matter how suspicious my putting quotes around the word might render it. Evidently, they shuttered to do the kind of work that is both necessary while also not being very interesting. However, the slight space rehab signaled a change of ownership, the main effect of which at this point seems to be that it is no longer technically correct to use the names Culture Cafe and Kombucha Town interchangeably, which I’m sure most of us will catch onto probably never.

Sorry, Kombucha Town. I mean Culture Cafe.

Mainly, the point of all this was to let you know that the cafe is back open, has a revamped menu (feed me all the kabobs) and has already hosted Goh Kurosawa, karaoke and trivia night, so it’s safe to say they’re back in action.

In news that is nowhere near as good comes word that Rook and Rogue, the downtown Bellingham spot where you can drink creatively named craft cocktails while schooling your friends at Settlers of Catan (or in my case, Sorry—same same) has decided to close.

To put a finer point on it, it’s not so much that they “decided” to close, it’s that they ran out of the money required to run a well-liked business that was never meant to make anyone rich, but was very much meant to support and foster community.

It’s an unhappy circumstance, but I’m guessing that Rook and Rogue will not be the last such place to make the difficult decision to shut down and move on. Bellingham is getting more expensive to live in by the second, and those feeling a great deal of the squeeze are the artists, musicians, writers, dancers, makers, artisans and others who, although they are every bit as much community stakeholders as anyone else, comprise the paycheck-to-paycheck sector of the working class. There are a lot of us. And when we experience wage stagnation and struggle financially, the mostly small businesses that get our dwindling share of disposable income suffer as well.

We are not a better community for it.

Like everyone else, I don’t know what the solutions are. For now, we can hit up Rook and Rogue, swill cocktails, throw down some Sorry and hope the answers come.

Past Columns
Drink it up

February 19, 2020

Apologies in Advance

February 12, 2020

All-Ages Action

February 5, 2020

Music at the Movies

January 29, 2020

Hot in Herre

January 22, 2020

Chicken and egg:

January 15, 2020

Say It Ain’t So:

January 8, 2020

Passages:

January 1, 2020

A necessary update:

December 25, 2019

Questions and answers:

December 18, 2019

It’s Baaaack:

December 11, 2019

Of Art and Artists:

December 4, 2019

Fundraising and Family Time:

November 27, 2019

Of love and loss:

November 13, 2019

Dream All Day:

November 6, 2019

News of the Muse:

October 30, 2019

But wait, there’s more:

October 23, 2019

Comings and goings:

October 16, 2019

Sing Loud:

October 9, 2019

Road to somewhere:

October 2, 2019

Events
Today
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Mapping Mountains

4:00pm|Western Library

Beginners Welcome

4:00pm|Village Books

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Wild Church

6:00pm|Marine Park

Food and Wine Pairing

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

The Slacks

7:00pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Tomorrow
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Jazz Lecture Series

2:00pm|Anacortes Public Library

Exploring Equity

2:00pm|Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

Keenan's Dinner

4:00pm|Keenan's at the Pier

Trivia Night

6:00pm|Burlington Public Library

Life Between the Pages Dinner Book Club

6:00pm|Evolve Chocolate + Cafe

A date with democracy

6:30pm

Bottle Club

6:30pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Pasta Party

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Woman's Hour with Elaine Weiss

6:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

An Iliad

7:00pm| Firehouse Arts and Events Center

The True Cost

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Jazz and Mariachi Night

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

WWU Wind Symphony

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

House Concert with Meghan Yates and Louis Ledford

7:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Friday
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Cultural Arts Festival

12:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

The Hobbit

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow, Fifty Shades of Velvet

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Comedy Night at Chair 9

9:00pm|Chair 9

see our complete calendar »