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December 11, 2012 > Paddy's Coffee House moving on

Paddy's Coffee House moving on

By Jessica Noel Flohr

The beloved Union City icon, Paddy's Coffee House, is closing its doors - but not forever! After nearly a ten year run, the lease on the current Smith Street location is expiring. The downturn of the economy over the past several years has taken quite a toll and small, local businesses are suffering. With hope to continue the vision begun in 2003, owner Paddy Iyer has been scouting out a new location and intends to reopen in 2013.

Paddy's has been a fixture in the neighborhood. As Union City Landing was constructed nearby, Paddy's retained its familiar, cozy atmosphere. It has been called a "cultural hub" and is a second home to college students, couples communing over a steaming cup of coffee, and startup musicians on open mic nights. The presence of this little coffee house will be sorely missed and faithful patrons eagerly await its return.

Iyer left the software industry and decided to open an independent coffee shop in 2002. He and his wife quietly opened the doors to the coffee house in February 2003, with no grand opening or fanfare. They intend, however, to go out with a bang and have a Grand Closing planned for December 15; a potluck event as guests are encouraged to contribute to the community spirit by bringing food for the celebration and donations for needy families.

The coffee house is firmly invested in the community in every way. Beans for the coffee are purchased from local roaster McLaughlin Coffee Company. Treats are made from ingredients found at the farmer's market, located just across the street. Paddy's is also a green business, recycling and reusing enough to produce less than 1 percent in garbage. It was one of Union City's first green businesses, and the first restaurant in the Tri-City area to be certified as a green business. Paddy's Coffee House has been a hub of activity with comedy nights, art shows, voter registration drives, fundraisers, live music, and book exchanges. It's a place where friends and neighbors come together.

It is difficult to be a small business owner in this economy. With so much competition from larger chains, small businesses rely on faithful customers who believe in supporting a local economy. Regulars at Paddy's will miss the old place tremendously, as it has been such a fixture in their lives and their neighborhood. Iyer promises to continue the Paddy's brand and is working to reopen in a new location.

Join Union City citizens in celebrating the success of a great small business. The coffee house will be open from 8 a.m. until closing. For more information, check out Paddy's Coffee House online at or

Paddy's Grand Closing
Saturday, Dec 15
8 a.m. to Closing
Paddy's Coffee House
3900 Smith Street, Union City
(510) 324-8572

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