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My Way

Would you like a side of history with your coffee?

December 29, 2010 - I was hoisting a few holiday cocktails at my home with a couple of downtown Oxford merchants when they proposed an idea that I found most intriguing.

They suggested that coffee and other related beverages could be sold and enjoyed on a regular basis at the Northeast Oakland Historical Museum.

They reasoned that doing so would solve two problems at once.

The first is the lack of a coffee shop in downtown Oxford.

Ever since Starbucks closed back in August, local java fiends and self-important people who enjoy working on their laptops in public have been jonesing for a place to get their fix.

Lots of folks miss having a coffee house at which to gather and would jump at the opportunity to once again sip their brew in the downtown atmosphere.

The coffee and beverages could be provided by a variety of local merchants such as Victoria's Delights and A Familiar Taste. Maybe Sweet & Savory (my favorite bakery in the world) could sell some of their tasty treats there.

Besides filling a need, serving coffee there would also help expose people to our town's woefully under-utilized museum, making them aware of both it and local history.

I love the museum and I try to promote it every chance I get, but it's definitely not living up to its potential.

At best, it's only open a few hours a week for one or two days, depending on the season. That's due to a lack of volunteers, not a lack of dedication on the Historical Society's part.

Maybe the village, DDA and Historical Society could work together to fund a few part-time employees to serve up the coffee and keep an eye on the museum. I'm just spit-balling here.

The lure of beverages would definitely draw more people to the museum and generate a buzz about it throughout the community.

Frankly, I would be more inclined to sit and sip a Cup of Joe in an historic building surrounded by local artifacts than some generic corporate shell that looks the same in a thousand other cities.

Anyway, I liked the idea, so I thought I'd throw it out there in a column and see what happens.

What do you think, Oxford?

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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