Salisbury Port City Java pouring its last cup

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Now being poured at Port City Java — a cup of woe.
Despite the efforts of impassioned local customers, the coffee house and cafe at 1804 W. Innes St. will close next month.
“This place has been an ‘institution’ for a number of years,” David Ramsey, Rowan County sheriff’s chief deputy and coffee fanatic, wrote to Port City Java corporate headquarters in Wilmington. “Many of the power brokers in the community frequent this location, and it would be heartbreaking to see it close.”
Ramsey’s plea, as well as a petition drive by customers, could not keep the coffee shop open.
“The decision to close this location was not an easy one to make. We open all of our coffeehouses full of hope, energy and excitement,” Megan Winters, marketing manager, wrote back. “We work hard to hire the right people, train them and support them. Unfortunately, sometimes things just don’t work out the way that we had hoped.”
Ramsey, who said he takes his coffee “any way I can get it,” said he doesn’t understand the decision to close the shop, which always seemed busy to him. He’s been getting his caffeine fix at Port City Java nearly every day for five years.
What will he do now?
“I’m going to have to come up with an answer,” Ramsey said. “I really don’t know.”
It’s not clear exactly when the shop will close or how many people will lose their jobs. Winters could not be reached for comment.
“Closing stores and putting good people out of work have never been goals of our small company,” she said in the email. “The relationships our baristas built with you have been a major contributing factor in keeping this café open as long as we have. Ultimately, this location just hasn’t been able to do what we hoped it could.
“We are devastated about losing these talented, friendly baristas. We’re disappointed in our own failure and in having to let so many people down. We thank you sincerely for your loyalty and for supporting us over the years.”
The local Port City Java opened in 2005 and nearly closed in 2007, but franchise owners found a buyer at the last minute.
The Wilmington-based coffee chain founded in 1995 has 35 cafes in two states and the District of Columbia.
The Salisbury location in the Ketner Center was originally a bank.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.