Parke Place Coffee House
by Toby Barazzuol on Wednesday Nov 13, 2013
Last week at Eclipse we had some visitors from our neighbours down the street at the Jim Green Residences. They told us that the owners of the Parke Place Coffee Bar were closing shop and heading back to Korea to retire. This news was a surprise and shock to the community because it had been here to so long and was one of the few local restaurants that everyone could afford to eat at.
I would often have breakfast meetings there and enjoyed the tiny booths from an era gone by. I always admired the owners John and Jenny because they never put up bars on their windows and they treated everyone with respect. They would carry a tab for people who were short on money. Jenny always wore a small teddy bear lapel pin on her apron and everyone called her "mom" because would always make sure they had something to eat. They were a living example of treating your community with respect and having that respect mirrored back.
So we jumped at the chance to help recognize John and Jenny's service to the community and so many people over the years. We wanted to add our voice to the thanks, so we offered to donate an award to the Jim Green Residences that they could present on behalf of their residents and the local community. The next day we had created a beautiful award for them and we were excited to see it presented on the weekend, the last day of the Park Place Coffee Bar. They provided so much support in a quiet yet important way and they will certainly be missed in Strathcona.
Here is how our friends described that day:
Jenny was filled with gratitude, and love.
Pictures of her hugging longtime clients at doorways;
Deep crying by one patron while sitting together, having her “last” meal;
And thanking Jenny for years of being an accepting & kind “mother” role.
John, as usually seen, was behind the counter creating the food to keep
All fed, warmed, cared for, and having a sense of belonging.
Toby and Eclipse Staff: Thanks so much for your part in honouring
some awesome Community Service Providers.