The long-time local favorite now has spacious indoor seating and an expanded menu.
In episode one of the original Twin Peaks, filmed in North Bend, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper tastes a cup of the fictitious town’s brew—he liked it black as midnight on a moonless night—and declares it, “damn fine.” That was the same year that Huxdotter Coffee opened. Located less than two minutes from I-90, just past the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, the first drive-through in North Bend quickly became the busiest spot in the area to grab a coffee.
Photo Credit: Aaron Locke/BCRA
Now that drive-through with “damn fine” coffee has grown up. Huxdotter Coffee’s new home is a surprisingly modern building of wood, glass and steel that opened for business last August. Not only does the new building have an improved drive-through, but it also has a roomy interior with soaring ceilings. An array of tables and counter seats provide a welcome space for those wishing to leisurely enjoy espresso drinks and pastries, made-to-order lunch sandwiches and hot breakfast sandwiches. Others use the free wifi to get some work done while they sip their coffee.
The inspired new digs are the brainchild of Jeremy Westlake, whose local roots run back several generations. Jeremy bought Huxdotter in 2016 with the dream of adding indoor seating and expanding the menu. After two years of planning, construction started. Closing down the busiest drive through in the area for ten months was painful, but the results have proved worth it. The café is full of locals and travelers on their way to Snoqualmie Pass, Mt. Si, or Snoqualmie Falls. And the drive-through is faster than ever before, with more room for cars to line up, a better workspace, and even a barista with an iPad who speeds up the wait by walking the line and taking orders when it’s busy.
While contractors worked on the building, Jeremy worked to upgrade Huxdotter’s menu. He visited many bakeries throughout the area, favoring Macrina Bakery. Unfortunately, North Bend was then outside of Macrina’s delivery area. He offered up some estimates of the quantity of bread and pastries he thought he’d need, and an agreement was made to deliver to a restaurant in Issaquah, where Huxdotter could pick the order up. For the first month, Jeremy’s parents drove the 30 minutes to Issaquah and back at 4:30 in the morning so that Huxdotter’s customers would be able to get their Macrina fix when the café opened. It quickly became apparent that Jeremy’s estimates were solid—the café was indeed busy enough to justify expanding a route just for him. Nearly half a year later, the buzz has spread and Huxdotter continues to grow.
One thing about Huxdotter that especially stands out is its friendly, helpful baristas. Even after shutting down ten months for construction, nearly the entire staff returned. Watching the way they hustle to keep the drive-through line moving and the banter at the counter upbeat is invigorating.
When the sun shines on a warm day, the wide garage door that separates the large outdoor patio from the indoor seats opens to merge the two spaces. On a summer afternoon, tired hikers and those returning from work fill the chairs refreshing themselves with coffee, sweet treats or one of the PNW craft beers that rotate through the six taps on hand. Huxdotter also carries quite a variety of canned beers and a small selection of Washington wine.
One wall is decorated with large framed black and white photos of Jeremy’s ancestors who settled in the Snoqualmie Valley generations ago, and on another you’ll find an oversized topographical map of the area—perfect for planning your next hike or visit to the many nearby attractions.
Huxdotter Coffee is open weekdays from 5 A.M. to 7 P.M. and from 6 A.M. to 7 P.M. on weekends