Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First stop: Coffee for Suisun City

From Daily Republic
By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY - The Suisun City train station on Main Street may become more than just a place to get on the train or the bus soon.

Kirk Knutson, owner of El Capitan Coffee Company and the person who now opens up the train station early in the mornings, is hoping the coffee stand he now runs there from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. will become something greater.

"It is going to be awesome," Knutson said. "I have a lot of ideas I am going to run through the City Council."

Knutson was running a cafe in Woodland when the Greyhound Bus Company cut out its stop and the person who took tickets at the train station three weeks ago.

Suisun City officials, who knew Knutson when he ran a small coffee business at 333 Sunset Avenue some time ago, called him and asked if he would be interested in opening and closing the train station doors.

Knutson took on the duties and set up his coffee stand on Aug. 1 and early morning passengers using Amtrak have liked having the doors open so early as well as pastries and a cup of hot coffee at hand.

He would like to expand his business hours until 5 p.m. as well and offer sandwiches, soups and salads on several tables he would like to set up.

"It will be pretty nice," Knutson said of expanding what is now a brisk morning business.
Amtrak plans to offer more train service along the route and Knutson sees his business expanding along with that.

"With gas prices and airlines, people will be using Amtrak," Knutson said.

Suisun City Redevelopment Director Al da Silva called the new business "an evolving situation" that already allows the city to keep the train station open to residents.

Knutson's presence helps meet two Suisun City goals, da Silva said, keeping the station open and seeing it "put to a higher use."

"Eventually maybe we hope he will offer additional retail services," da Silva said. "We are talking with him about more permanent structure; maybe get into a formal agreement with a lease."

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at ithompson@dailyrepublic.net.

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