Caffeine meets terroir
For the time being Comet will have no chairs. Saborio explains with chagrin that city officials rejected his blueprints that showed seating for fourteen people because he didn't have a first-floor restroom. Unfortunately, his contractor didn't mention the plans had been turned down until Saborio had already negotiated the six-year lease. "Since then, every-thing has been damage control," he admits.
Saborio put in handsome polished concrete counters next to windows facing the arcade, but the city wanted to take them out so that no one could stand and drink a cup of coffee there. Doing so would make it a "place of assembly" that required a rest¬room. The city agreed to let the counters stay, if Saborio would make sure no one stood at them and sipped. He's allowed to sell takeout coffee while he waits for a variance from Lansing to run his cafe sans restroom, at which point people can drink at the counters completely legally.
Comet Coffee, 16 Nickels Arcade, no phone. Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
[Originally published in April, 2009.]