Forecasting Fremont's future

Patience is one virtue I sorely lack. I don't wait well, nor do I suffer irritations quietly.

And the remodel of the old Coast Brush Co. warehouse into the brand-new Brouwer's Café has irritated.

However, I resolve, in 2005, to be more patient - or at least to hide my impatience more creatively.

I'm no good with resolutions, so I checked with Matt Bonney, co-owner of Brouwer's, before I committed myself. He assures me that Brouwer's will open in February. It won't end the dust, debris or disruptions in our corner of West Fremont.

As they've scrambled to finish details on the extensive remodel - granite walls, new bathrooms and kitchen, a giant skylight, plus an impressive Brazilian hardwood bar - their next-door neighbors cut windows into the cinderblock walls of the old Cressy Door space for a new import/export business.

Still, I want to see the doors open to customers at Brouwer's now. I've heard the positive buzz around Bottleworks, Matt's business in Wallingford, and I'd love to see that success spread here.

I've heard about this café over the last year as I met Matt at scores of community meetings. My fingers ache from having them crossed this long.

The owners intend to serve a wide selection of specialty wines and beers from around the world to aficionados and connoisseurs. They plan to fill the void left since the closure of Red Hook Brewery and Bitters' wine bar.

I miss that more selective crowd, but with a chocolate factory going in where Red Hook once lived, I refuse to be grouchy.


I've heard of the impending factory as Fremont's answer to Wonka. When I tried to find out about their progress, I experienced firsthand the shroud of silence wrapped around the place.

It certainly echoes the dark secrecy Charlie saw as he peered at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and hoped for his golden ticket. I look forward to taking a tour someday, but I'll answer my chocolate cravings elsewhere for now.

I will try to be patient, and wait. At least in this, I only await construction.

Other parts of the neighborhood process have tried my brittle patience.

Last September, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce lost its executive director when Bill Elder found a better job elsewhere.

This loss hit hard and caused quite a bit of upheaval as the chamber board of directors considered how best to fill the void.

In November, they decided to pursue grant money for another executive director to pursue economic development projects while hiring an interim person to handle phone calls and mail.

It will take time to find the right sucker - whoops, I meant to say "wise, careful and hardworking candidate." Otherwise run by volunteers, the chamber's work will depend on the sporadic free time of board members and the stuttering movements of process.

As Fremont steps bravely into 2005, I feel impatience as I await the results of change, but I remain confident.

In my 30th column for the North Seattle Herald-Outlook on Fremont, my faith in the essence of Fremont remains strong. Change will come and make its mark, but at our depth, we never do. Being the Center of the Universe has its privilege.

Kirby Lindsay lives in West Fremont, although she swears some of her best friends live in the East.

Her brother also lives in Fremont and will be married there on New Year's Day. She wants to wish him the very best - and a great, big thank you to her new sister-in-law for volunteering to put up with him.

Kirby Lindsay welcomes comments at

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