A horrible thing happened to the residents of Montrose last fall, when Agora burned down.
|West wall - what remained of the balcony|
Agora was not a hipper-than-thou coffee shop. It wasn't a Starbucks with ornamental coffee mugs for sale and a bazillion choices of coffee beans. They made good coffee, had an interesting selection of cookies, and decent beer and wine. The furniture was a selection of mismatched old tables and chairs, some sawn in half to better fit the space. The kind of furniture you wouldn't feel guilty about leaving a wet glass on.
It was a relaxed place to have a coffee, or a beer, read a book, surf the web or chat with friends when you didn't want to go home yet. There were books and magazines on the tables, posters of Greece on the walls and lots and lots of Greek tourist tchotchkes. It was like hanging out in the living room of your favorite uncle who loved his Greek vacation so much, he decorated his entire house with that in mind. It was the heart of the neighborhood. So when fire claimed it last October, the shock was seismic.
The first question on many people's lips was "Will they rebuild?" Once it was clear that they would, the question was, "What are they going to do to it?" There was serious worry that they would increase the lighting, put in tile floors, or try to update the decor. Horrors!
|The new West wall|