The walls are bathed in white, and the fresh vegetables and shiny marble lend an air of brightness that almost make you forget that this precious place was choked on flames six months ago.
After Sagtown coffee shop burned, I would see the other regulars around town, and we always shared a confused gaze of dazed recognition. We were wandering, uncaffeinated and unanchored. We knew each other, but we knew each other over coffee. We knew each other over the brims of our laptops. We knew each other working.
On my working days, after morning program at Sag Harbor Elementary School, I’d stumble, bleary-eyed into Sagtown. I’d allot the first 15 minutes of my day to the first percolating sips of my coffee, and a few warm good mornings. By the time I had settled into the banquette, my mind was sufficiently sharp to delve into my work. When Sagtown burned, there was nowhere else to go.
Sure, Java Nation and Jack’s have amazing coffee, but there’s nowhere to sit. And the library has places to sit, but there’s no coffee. So then, there’s Starbucks. Which is fine, but, well, it’s Starbucks. Or maybe, more accurately, it’s not Sagtown.
When I drove down Main Street on Monday, August 7, and saw people perched in the picture window with their laptops open, I finally, for the first time in six months, knew where I was going to work the next day.
Owner Shane Dyckman took this opportunity to revamp not only the space but the offerings. House made sandwiches, smoothies, and acai bowls round out a menu that was once limited to deliveries from Harbor Market. He learned from Sagtown’s first incarnation that people want nooks, and he created nooks. He also left plenty of shared workspace where people can gather around a wooden table and be together, but separate.
I chose the bench in the spacious front room for my work, and each person that walked through the front door, I gave a friendly nod. We didn’t talk about how nice it felt to be back. I didn’t ask them where they had been in those fretful months away. It didn’t matter anymore. Sagtown is back, and we are back to work.