What’s a city without a functional community? It's a city without much of a future. Many cities across the world, and in our own backyard at times, lack a sense of community within their people. One place I think has come along way with improving their community is Port Angeles, Washington. It was even up for Outside Online's “Best Towns 2015” top honor, losing by a smidge to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Port Angeles may be familiar to Seattle dwellers because of the Twilight Series. To me it’s a city that shares pockets of poverty, Coast Guard families, and National Parks workers, but has its shining moments of promise. One of the parts of Port Angeles that has improved immensely over the past decade is downtown. In past years I can recall the downtown area being depressing and unsafe because of a concentration of drug problems in the city, but the last few years when I visit the city center, the area has been more welcoming and lively with positive energy. I can only chalk that up to the local businesses that line 1st Street, providing the revival of Port Angeles’ community.
On a sunny clear day in Port Angeles, I went to get my hair cut at The Parlor owned by Catey Calloway, a hair salon inside of clothing shop Moss. I love getting my hair cut at The Parlor because Calloway is always so inventive; if I want to lighten my hair, she whips-up a magic blend of colors that I’m always pleased with. Calloway has cut and styled my hair for about the past few years and spent the last two with The Parlor inside Moss. Calloway notes that she’s seen a huge improvement with the downtown in the last few years with new businesses cropping up. She credits that to many new entrepreneurs coming into town and setting up shops. The businesses she thinks have had a big part in the downtown’s change for the better are: The Next Door Gastropub, clothing shops like Alley Cat, and the Moxie Boutique.
The Next Door Gastropub
Walking into this almost-always-bustling, comfortable yet rugged restaurant you feel like you’re in for a genuinely good experience. The menu at this artisan pub ranges from perfectly stacked burgers, fresh fish tacos and build your own mac-n-cheese—but if that doesn’t appeal to you there is a large choosing of creative salads. For those over 21, you have quite the choosing of the best local brews on rotation from Washington, Oregon and California. The Next Door is the place to be if there’s a sporting event on or if it’s a Sunday night and you’re looking for some live music.
Moss is owned by Hayley Coxford, who shares the space with The Parlor salon owner, Catey Calloway. Moss is a clothing store that embodies the apparel of a true northwesterner, beachy chic. The staff is always so nice and helpful for whatever your occasion may be. Any of the outfits at Moss can take you from school to a party, to an afternoon at Lake Crescent.
Port Book and News Store
I enjoy reading and books but my parents love them even more than I do, so whenever we’re in Port Angeles we always have to make a stop at Port Book and News store to check out new arrivals and staff picks. My family and I truly love this shop because of its strong ties to the community; they place a high importance on buying locally and how that greatly benefits other business around you.
Easy Street Coffee
These days I’ve noticed how most people don’t drink real coffee on a daily basis or don’t like tasting coffee in its pure form (without being overloaded with sweeteners and milk.) At Easy Street coffee, the chalkboard menu is jam packed with creative coffees and tea blends. I’m always impressed with what I get at Easy Street, never too sweet and I can taste the coffee.
Port Angeles probably won’t win any awards for being a mecca of peace, but I am proud of how far they’ve come with their new connection to their community through local businesses, its refreshing to see a place that was once grimy and somewhat unsafe, now having a larger concentration of positivity.
Hello, I’m Emma Eekhoff. I’m a 17-year-old that would rather be networking for business than at a party with my high school friends. I’m not afraid to share my stance on something, whether it is an art form like music or recent events in the world. I’ve been writing in a journalist setting for only a few years, through my high school’s online newspaper, The Growl Online or for a music blog. I love to connect and network with new people in the worlds of business and music, travel to new places and eat new interesting foods.