The popular downtown Calistoga coffee shop Yo el Rey Roasting, know for its fresh roasted, organic coffee and “real” art exhibits, has closed.
J. Kirk Feiereisen opened the shop 11 years ago at 1217 Washington St., just off the intersection with Lincoln Avenue.
Feiereisen ground the fair trade and organic coffee beans he used in the shop and roasted them in an 800-pound coffee roaster.
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The coffee shop, with comfortable lounging chairs, interesting books and magazines to read, and bar stools for sitting and looking out the front window, was also known for its changing artwork, featuring local and sometimes new artists. Calistoga High School art and drama teacher Tyrone Sorrentino was one of the first to have his work displayed in the shop.
“It’s a place where people can enjoy art for art’s sake,” Feiereisen told The Weekly Calistogan in 2010. “I am an artist and art collector and I appreciate the creative mind over any other. An artist’s inner drive should be for pure, unabashed creation, not for money. Paying the bills should not come between the artist and his creative power.”
As for closing the shop, Feiereisen said it mostly has to do with dealing with PG&E power shutoffs and disruption of service to customers. He said he is having to sell his equipment, adding he is thankful to Cal Mart for loaning him their forklift and a driver to load the roaster onto a trailer.