For those who like their lattes with a dash of controversy, a new shop at 111 Broadway provides a shot of both. Brick Stone and Logan Dahlen purchased the former Pacific Pearl Coffee and turned it into Controversial Coffee, serving Sleepy Monk coffee, specialty drinks and cool souvenir items on Seaside’s busiest street.
What’s controversial about Controversial Coffee?
“This is Controversial Coffee because we are a queer couple,” co-owner Brick Stone said. “It’s kind of controversial to be trans-queer in a public space.”
Stone and partner Logan Dahlen plan to encourage conversations — not debates. “There’s a big difference between conversation and debate,” Stone said. “There’s a lot of people who want to come in and debate whether or not trans people deserve rights, or respect for that matter. That’s not debatable and then we have to ask people to leave if they’re disrespectful because there’s none of that in here.”
Conversation and talking to people and getting to know people is a different matter. “That’s a good thing,” Stone said. “We try to provide a safe space for people of all races, creeds and genders.”
They’ve known each other since 2008 in Idaho, when they were in youth group together.
Stone has lived in Astoria for eight years and worked at Pacific Pearl for three. Dahlen managed Purple Cow Toys in Seaside.
They have modified the Pacific Pearl menu, but still have the same smoothies and coffee beverages. They offer rotating monthly specials and have a seasonal menu right now.
Former owner Dawn Greenfield of Pacific Pearl Coffee Co. worked with the couple during the business transition.
“I just really want to thank Dawn for working with us and being such a good boss,” Stone said.
Hours are Friday through Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’re starting to get our regulars back up and stuff now that we’re open more regular hours,” Stone said. “COVID was kind of hard on anybody who worked here full time because we had to shut down a couple of times. The time so I think we’re finally starting to get like a rhythm and everything’s going back to normal. A lot less people who are angry about wearing masks.”
October is double punch month on punch cards. “And we’re celebrating our opening on Halloween weekend with 50 cents off of drinks for the whole weekend, Friday to Sunday.”