Coffee lovers have a House of their own

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Peggy-Sue Butler has always enjoyed going to coffee shops. But until just over a year ago, she couldn’t seem to locate the &uot;correct&uot; one.

&uot;I could never really find one that had the type of atmosphere I preferred,&uot; Butler says, pouring whipped cream onto a Slushee at her Olde Harbour Coffee House. &uot;I wanted a quiet, romantic, serene place for people to meet, date, and just be themselves.&uot;

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Since the best way to ensure that something is done right is to do it yourself, Butler and her husband, Gary, decided to open their own coffee house.

&uot;When we came to this shopping center, there was nothing but Bombshells (a nearby salon) and the movie theater,&uot; she says. &uot;We talked and prayed about it, and the Lord opened all the doors for us.&uot;

Aided by family and friends, the Butlers got to work on their new House. &uot;Gary did the layout and the building, and we both did all the dcor,&uot; Peggy-Sue says. &uot;There’s a lot of history here.

&uot;When Gary worked on the federal courthouse in Norfolk about 20 years ago, he brought home a lot of Honduras mahogany wood from Africa. We always thought that we’d be using it on a new home for ourselves, but then we used it here. The tile behind the counter is from Fort Monroe in Hampton.

&uot;It’s been a challenge,&uot; she says of her establishment, which celebrated its first anniversary on July 11, &uot;but it’s been great. We’ve gotten really attached to the customers.

&uot;It’s to the point where we can’t wait to see them and find out who’s dating, getting married, having babies, buying houses. There are some customers from the military that have been coming in here two or three times a week that will be leaving for Okinawa in August. It’s going to be sad to see them leave.&uot;

At the tender age of 11, Jacob Jurgensen may be too young to require a daily dose of caffeine-riddled coffee, a cornerstone of every adult’s nutritious breakfast. But Butler’s icy creations have turned him into one of the store’s youngest regulars.

&uot;I’ve tried out all the Slushees,&uot; Jacob says between sips of his Strawberry-Banana Rama Slushee. &uot;I’ve had the pina colada (non-alcoholic, of course) and the Strawberry Rave. That’s probably my favorite kind, because it has a really smooth kick near the end. Your taste buds go crazy, and you just keep wanting to drink it!

&uot;This place is great for all ages,&uot; he continues. &uot;There’s blocks for little kids to play with, and the Harbour View movie theater’s right nearby, so you can go see a movie after you get finished.&uot;

But there’s still plenty to do at the House. Slurping on a Very Berry Slushee (which she refers to as &uot;a sweet, tangy combo of blueberry and raspberry&uot;), Jerri Butler, 16, grabs a selection from the restaurants cascade of books.

&uot;I’m an avid reader, and they have a big selection here,&uot; Butler says.

&uot;This place has a really down-to-earth, home-like atmosphere. It really helps you relax. I’m going to start coming here a lot after I get a car!&uot;