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    Dear Heine Brothers’ Coffee—The Eastern Parkway location:

    I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked, but we used to be so close that I thought it was time. Do you remember the hours I spent at HBC on Eastern? I’d order a citrus green tea, unsweetened, iced or hot depending on the season—and then curl up for the hundredth time with  “Me Talk Pretty Someday” by David Sedaris on that slick, black leather couch in the corner. Sometimes I would have a notebook too, scribbling about the patrons or the playlist, hoping someday I could weave them into a rich narrative. Or if I was feeling particularly unproductive I would sit outside, angled so I was facing Bardstown Road, and simply people-watch. So many memories were made there—my first interview, a late-night tea and Jones’ soda fix after homecoming, hearing “The Head and the Heart” for the first time.

    Those were simpler times, before I was seemingly pulled in 22 different directions simultaneously, and the easiest way to caffeinate was between classes at the small, chain bagel-shop on Bellarmine University’s campus where I would be handed a cup of lukewarm water, then select a slightly stale-tasting tea bag from a rack and watch it bob for a bit before noticing flecks of an everything bagel in my beverage.

    Those times at HBC on Eastern were better times. Before we grew apart.

    I remember rumors began to circulate that you were closing a few months ago. Tidbits showed up on Facebook and Twitter; #RipHBCEasternPkwy. But I didn’t believe them. You couldn’t leave. While we weren’t in contact every day like we’d used to be, surely I would have heard about something as drastic as this.

    But it was true.

    Age-old platitudes where tossed on the interwebs in an effort to placate the, I’m sure, innumerable distraught Eastern Parkway location-lovers (it couldn’t be just me, right?). “We have three other locations that are only a 5-minute drive away, and a total of 13 other Louisville locations,” really just translated into: “Don’t worry; there are other fish in the sea.” Yet that never really makes it better, does it?

    Then one day, I drove up and you were just gone. The only thing left in your place was a poster of a shirtless Jim Morrison tacked in the front window. You were always quirky like that. I think that’s what I’m going to miss most, your quirkiness. The random yellow pleather, art-deco chair in the corner, offset by an elephant mural and a plant that always seemed on the brink of death, but was still always there.

    Then, before I knew it, a glaring of pink umbrellas had seemingly sprouted up in your old location. Comfy Cow was here and here to stay. And while I’m not complaining—I love Cow Tracks ice cream as much as the next girl—I do wish that we’d made the time for one more drink.

    Just for old time’s sake.


    p.s. You can now find me at the Longest Avenue location. 

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    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I'm a journalist and creative nonfiction writer based in Louisville, Kentucky. My freelance work has been featured in The Guardian US, Paste Magazine, Louisville Magazine STORY Magazine, STIR Journal, Mapquest Discover, Thrillist Louisville with pieces upcoming at Salon, Mental Floss, Serious Eats and Munchies. I also spend my spare time chasing food trucks.

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