City says “good night” as Montevallo loses community staple

MONTEVALLO, Ala. (WIAT) — People in Montevallo are saying goodbye to a popular restaurant that has served as the local coffee shop, venue for live music, and lunch hangout for nearly twenty years.

Eclipse Coffee and Books will close its doors on July 27th. On a message posted to Facebook, its owners thanked customers for years of support and said they are moving on to the next phase of their lives.

Meanwhile, people in Montevallo are sharing their memories of the restaurant where they’ve celebrated big events, held poetry slams, and marked the end of the University of Montevallo’s College Night tradition each year.

“I didn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke, like one of those spam articles, someone’s playing a joke on me,” said Brandon Boyd, Montevallo student. “Then it’s turned into a little bit of despair, actually, and then sadness.”

Other community members are sad to see a business close that encouraged community engagement and activism.

“It’s sad. It’s a safe haven. There’s a lot of kids over the years who have worked here. It’s a really good work experience,” said Sharon Williams, a person that works with many nonprofits in town. “You learn business and how to interact with people, but people become like your family here.”

Williams says Eclipse has always been a welcoming location for meetings and conferences.

Eclipse will close in the summer, when fewer students are at the university and life moves at a much slower pace. When many people really start to notice the loss of a popular hangout, locals say, is when the students come back and there are fewer places to hear local bands or music acts.

“I’m really interested in seeing where exactly the live music,” said Rachel George, a Montevallo student. “Where are we going to get it, where are we going to go from here?”

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