Escape Java Joint & Gallery
Escape Java Joint owner Duane Erickson sounds slightly sleepy, but undaunted by the amount of work he has to do before this weekend.
Escape is moving, and Erickson says it's by choice. The current location, the rambling, many-roomed building at 916 Williamson, was at one time a photography studio. It's been a location that Erickson has liked but which hasn't always worked out for Escape as it's developed further as a meeting place and live music venue. "I didn't have to leave," he says, but the rent was too expensive and the space "didn't suit our needs." Music would bleed into rooms where people were having meetings and no one could hear.
Escape will be moving to 940 Williamson St., the old Appliances Unlimited which is currently about one-third taken up by LaRocca's Pizza. Escape will share the space with LaRocca's at first and expand into the rest of the back area as Erickson remodels. The patio area seating will quadruple, he says, and it will be off the main thoroughfare of Willy Street -- another plus. There will be about the same amount of wall space available for gallery use.
Finally, there's a big shed in the back, a separate space that Erickson plans to use for live music. That way, meetings and music will no longer collide.
The plan is to start moving stuff Wednesday and Thursday, with the last things to go being the coffee brewer and the espresso machine tomorrow night. "We will re-open Friday morning for coffee" in the new location if everything goes according to plan, says Erickson. Right now, the question is getting the proper city approvals and permits changed to the new spot.
Erickson is devoted to getting at least an abbreviated version of the new Escape up as soon as possible to accommodate those who have meetings booked.