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Spokane

Then and Now photos: City Market

Mon., March 12, 2012

One-stop-shopping spot sold food, specialty coffee

An advertisement in a 1911 edition of the Spokane Chronicle declared that the City Market, at Second Avenue and Stevens Street, was built for the “economical housekeepers of Spokane.” The 25,000-square-foot market held as many as 24 stores. Shoppers traveled to town on horseback, in buggies and on foot to buy mutton and fish from John Lewis, freshly dressed turkeys and chickens from Welch’s Market, hot bread from Lane’s Table Exchange and coffee from James Johnston, “The Coffee Man.” Java snobbery was still new to Spokane when James and Alice Johnston created a following for their roasted and blended coffees, teas and spices a century ago. Johnston also offered daily coffee-brewing lessons. The Johnstons later ran a coffee shop at 710 Main Ave. (current site of the Apple Store), which became a gathering place where strangers chatted about civic life and were never hurried to leave. The Johnston family ran the shop until 1959. – Jesse Tinsley
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