Homage to Blake’s

As most of you probably know, Blake’s Coffee Shop in Greenfield, blakescoffeeshopgooglehas been demolished. The local watering hole went out of business several years ago and in the interim the building rapidly deteriorated and became unsalvageable. Pat Hays purchased the property, which had become both an eyesore and safety hazard, and funded the demolition and conversion into a parking lot.

Lots of people have years of memories attaching them back to Blake’s and one of my friends found this article and news clip online. It was shot by WCPO out of Cincinnati back in 2010.  Here’s the accompanying text, followed by a video.

GREENFIELD, Ohio – Getting a latte, mocha, or cappuccino is the norm at most trendy coffee shops. Often times, the atmosphere has music with plush comfortable chairs or couches to relax.

However, at Blake’s Coffee Shop in Greenfield, Ohio, that would not be considered trendy. And they surely do not offer any type of espresso. What is available is a piece of Americana from the early-50s.

Rosie Blake and her late husband opened the shop after both had been working at a restaurant in Washington Court House, Ohio.

“We had three small children at home, and I told my husband, if we can work for him and make money, we can do it for ourselves.”

Now 50 years later, Blake’s then 11-year-old daughter Jeanie, trades quips with the regulars who sit around a counter and keep up with the town’s information.

Blake attributes the business’s continued success to the customers that keep coming back and the willingness to try different ideas.

“We used to sell pizza years ago,” she explained. “We quit that, but we’ve always served three meals a day.”

When guests stop in to eat, they often get a dark cup of coffee and golden buttermilk pancakes, which have helped give the coffee shop 50 golden years.

Blake does not plan to either close or stay open. She’ll just continue coming to work until she cannot any longer.

Click HERE for WCPO video.

As well as teach I also drove a school bus between 1970 and 1975. During those years I enjoyed an early breakfast at Blake’s every morning. I created lifelong friendships and acquired lifelong memories during those years. When I retired from teaching I went back to Blake’s several times a week to build on those friendships and memories.

Many people have lamented there will never be another Blake’s and there is truth in that. While there are plenty of places to have one’s morning coffee a place like Blake’s has a unique flavor that just can’t be duplicated. I experienced the same sense of loss when the Rainsboro Truck Stop restaurant closed. There have been several attempts to get it going again but the flavor, once lost, couldn’t be restored. It’s like your old comfy loafers have a thorn sticking through the sole and you just can’t get it out.

One thought on “Homage to Blake’s”

  1. Blake’s was just a couple doors down the street from the Times when, at 20, I moved to Greenfield in 1962. I lived in a rented bedroom on Highland Ave., so I ate all my meals out, mostly at the drugstore next door, Freddie’s Grill and Blake’s. A son, Donnie Blake, was the fullback on the Tigers’ football team that year, which was the best 0-10-1 team I’d seen. There also was a pretty girl who sometimes sat across the counter from me. Each of us usually ate a canned oyster stew. Despite having all that in common, she declined the opportunity to date me, but she did, indirectly, fix me up with her boyfriend’s sister, who turned out to be one of those spectacular women in your life you never quite get over. Just as some of us never got over Blake’s, or the Greenfield that was 52 years ago.

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