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Old And New Come Together At Espresso Shop

An espresso bar may be a world apart from an old-fashioned soda fountain, but the two are coming together in Deer Park.

Jeanine Spangle, who runs Classic Espresso on Main Street in Deer Park, has joined the haute coffee culture with one of the most revered pieces of history in town.

Two years ago, Spangle bought the town’s original drug store fountain, and moved it to her shop.

“I didn’t realize what I had when I bought it,” Spangle said.

Now, she’s trying to preserve its connection to the past. She’s applied to have the fountain listed on the one or more of the registers of historic places. There are separate historic lists for Spokane, the state and the nation.

While historical listings are typically reserved for old homes and buildings, it’s not unthinkable to have the soda fountain listed.

Teresa Brum, the county’s historic preservation officer, said it would not be the first time an object has been placed on the register in Spokane. The Spokane Carousel in Riverfront Park is another object on the register, Brum said.

The fountain, which dates back to about 1906, includes twin soda spigots, marble-topped counters, porcelain-lined syrup containers and the original ice cream stools and chairs.

Spangle said she decided to open the espresso shop three years ago after visiting the town during a rain storm and being unable to find a good espresso drink. The fountain came later when the Deer Park Pharmacy sold it in 1994.

Old-timers say they are glad Spangle is preserving the fountain, but her espresso shop just isn’t the same as the old Deer Park Drug Co., the original home for the fountain.

“When we were kids all we thought about was eating ice cream cones and drinking sodas,” said Lawrence Zimmerer, 89, who was raised on a farm near Clayton and later moved to Deer Park.

The building that houses Spangle’s shop apparently was an auto repair garage built in the 1950s and since remodeled. On a wall is a picture of the fountain taken during the early part of the century.

Zimmerer said the espresso shop doesn’t have that homey feel of the original fountain.

Still, he said, “I’m glad someone is preserving it.”

Spangle said the drug store’s gone. The best she can do is take advantage of what she’s left.

Spangle laments the fact the old back bar and mirror were sold separately to a private owner, who she said dropped by for a visit, announced he had the back bar, and then refused to divulge his name.

As a newcomer to Deer Park, Spangle said she fears some of the oldtimers aren’t very welcoming.

But she said she’s doing her best to fit into what’s become a growing community in recent years, and she’s making her business a family kind of place.

Her son plays on the Little League team that her business sponsors. Her husband cooks up the soup that sells with her menu of sandwiches.

“The older crowd just loves the old-fashioned ice cream sodas,” she said.

For the kids, the attraction is the hard ice cream.

Tye Taylor and his buddy, Bryan Balfour, made Spangle’s shop their first stop after earning $20 mowing lawns.

“It’s the only place in Deer Park that has ice cream,” Taylor said, licking his bubble-gum flavored cone.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo