By reporter Steven Smalley
It looks as though someone tried to send a message to Gilman Avenue Coffee, Sunday night, using a circular saw as a pencil. Persons unknown, intent on delivering a nasty missive to one of the area’s newest businesses, used a power saw to cut up their A-frame advertising sign, dozens of which, owned by various firms, routinely inhabit our neighborhood.
Employee John Liberty came to work to discover half of their sign, which had been neatly cut into several pieces, deposited in the his garbage can. The other half of the chopped up A-board was left on the corner where it was last seen the day before.
“I don’t know who did it. We haven’t had any rivalries with any other competing businesses. We haven’t had any customer complaints,” he said. “It doesn’t look like vandalism by any means.”
When Seattle Police came by, they immediately spoke with other businesses in the area to see if they possessed video images which could possibly identify a suspect. No word yet on that front.
“Small businesses do not have the luxury of advertising and spending thousands of dollars on TV,” Liberty said. “We rely on neighborhood marketing…Lots of businesses take advantage of it. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be a part of it too.”
Along with the sliced up sign in the garbage, a pair of gloves were also found neatly rolled together in a bundle, possibly left by the perpetrator.
“It’s upsetting. We are just starting off,” Liberty added. “Every dollar counts. We are doing everything we possibly can to make a dollar, while being on a shoestring budget.”
A customer in the café, a long-time Magnolia resident, had a different theory. “I think it would be one of the disgruntled neighbors. They take it upon themselves to act on everyone’s behalf on what they think is acceptable in the neighborhood,” he said. “We’ve experienced these self-appointed vigilantes in the past.”
There is no word yet on whether the owners will replace the sign.