Back Alley Brew was one of only two coffee shops in Fall City and closed on Oct. 31 after a permitting dispute with the county. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Back Alley Brew was one of only two coffee shops in Fall City and closed on Oct. 31 after a permitting dispute with the county. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Back Alley Brew shuts down

The drive-thru espresso stand was closed after a permitting dispute with the county.

Fall City’s Back Alley Brew coffee stand closed last week on Oct. 31 after running afoul of King County permitting regulations.

The coffee stand’s owner, Brie Cunnington, said she had owned the stand itself for more than four years and had worked there since she turned 18. True to its name, Back Alley Brew is located on a small side street on 338th Place Northeast in Fall City. Cunnington said last week there were no plans to reopen it, either in Fall City or elsewhere.

“It’s too hard in King County for me,” she said.

Cunnington did not want to speak about the reasons for the closure, but said it came from permitting issues between the landowners and the county. According to King County hearings examiner records, the property owners are represented by their son Kirk Welch. Attempts to set up an interview with Welch were unsuccessful, but according to county documents, code enforcement officers responded to a complaint about the placement of the drive-up espresso stand in October of 2013.

A county inspector told the owner they would need county Health Department approval and building permits and provided the owner with a construction pre-application packet, including for work to design and build a new septic system for the property. However, according to the hearings examiner document, by 2015 the espresso stand was still operating without needed permits and inspections, and a year later it still had not submitted an application to the Health Department.

In the 2017 hearings examiner document, as none of the steps required by the county were completed, no extension was given to the property owners. It is unclear whether further steps were taken by the property owners, but as of Nov. 1 of this year, the coffee stand had closed.

“I’m just really sad to see it go,” Cunnington said.

The closure of Back Alley Brew, formerly known as Fall City Grind, leaves Mercurys Coffee Co. as the only dedicated coffee shop in Fall City.

More in Business

People enjoying the view of Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge Spa in the sunshine on Feb. 19, 2020. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Snoqualmie mayor, tribal chairman spar over House bill

HB 2230 would amend tribal property tax exemption.

Courtesy photo
                                Dr. James Stirrett at Bluewater Medical, his new business on Snoqualmie Ridge.
Bluewater Medical opens on Snoqualmie Ridge

New clinic offers naturopathic regenerative medicine.

Courtesy photo
                                New Snoqualmie Casino Interim CEO and President Stanford Le.
Meet Snoqualmie Casino’s new interim CEO and president

Stanford Le brings international casino management experience into the position.

Business perspective for the new year

A monthly business column from a local financial adviser.

Eager buyers plentiful but choices were meager

The real estate market by the numbers for December 2019.

A new decade begins with low inventory in housing market | Real Estate column

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

New informational displays adorn the kiosk near the Snoqualmie Depot, depicting a walking tour of the Historic Downtown and its events. The design was created by local artist Kat Marshello. Photo courtesy of the City of Snoqualmie’s website.
New kiosk displays guide Historic Downtown Snoqualmie walk

Artowork, map helps visitors learn tales of the town.

Finding your proverbial strawberries | Business column

A monthly business column from Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey.

Decreased inventory for buyers in local real estate market

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Bob Toomey
Lessons in long-term planning from an anniversary

A column from a financial adviser.