Stepping into Coffee Girl, it’s impossible not to be enticed by the strings of white lights draped by the windows, the verdant potted plants decorating tables and window sills and the large glass case displaying a wide variety of handmade pastries and treats.
The charming coffee shop, located at the end of Pier 39 in the oldest cannery building in the west, embodies a warm, vintage feel that pays homage to its namesake and history with a picture of Ellen Hansen, one of the original “coffee girls.”
For many years while the cannery was in operation, Hansen served coffee in the cafeteria that at the time was situated near the front of the pier. The counter she and others used is now inside Coffee Girl, which previously was cold storage for the cannery, and serves an identical purpose. Behind it, friendly staff members take orders for a selection of espresso-laced beverages, teas, paninis, breakfast sandwiches, baked goods and unique dishes, such as the lox bagel with marinated cucumbers.
A small group of bakers ensures there are scones, sweet breads, quiches, brownies, cookies and other treats available seven days of the week. The pastries and sweets featured each day depend on the ingredients on hand and the baker’s choice, although the quality is consistent.
Beside the cash register sits a large sign bearing the shop’s rotating collection of specialty beverages. Rivaling the high caliber of Coffee Girl’s menu are the breathtaking views of the Columbia River and Washington state shoreline offered from both indoor and outdoor seating.
Although Coffee Girl is located a bit off the beaten path, the shop’s reputation and interesting history draw in visitors, along with an ample amount of regulars.
Monica Blackwood, assistant manager, said, “There are few places, even in Astoria, where you can get coffee, and you’re literally sitting over the river.”