Bad Ass Coffee Gone!

Bad Ass Coffee, Gone

Shocker in South Salem, the Bad Ass Coffee drive thru and cafe is out of business. I drove by it today and a sign out front says the space is vacant. Closed signs adorn the doors. Bad Ass is a national chain with franchises all over the country from Hawaii and Alaska to New Jersey and Florida. There's even a couple of stores in Asia. The coffee business seems to be taking a beating these days. They say that coffee is a luxury item and it's the first thing that people cut back on during tough economic times. I do not know what caused Bad Ass to go out of business in Salem but I did observe them try to lure customers into their store with lots of signs, mascots and coffee coupons. There was one coupon in a mailer for a free small coffee. Although I said earlier that I would never go in there, for free coffee, I might have changed my mind. I clipped the coupon and put it in my wallet, hoping that I might get a few minutes to go in there one day. I never got the chance. Another time, I ate at one of those fast food chains next door, I think it was Samurai Sams, which was pretty bad and expensive by the way, I peaked in on Bad Ass Coffee to see what it was like. Inside was a tropical Hawaiian scene with bamboo furniture and a stuffed donkey. As written earlier, I don't understand the marketing of associating coffee with a mule. Starbucks, founded in Seattle, is built around the image of a twin tailed siren from Greek mythology. Dutch Bros., has a windmill and the association with the Netherlands, a liberal European country, north of Belgium. When I think of the phrase "bad ass," I think of someone riding a Harley, tattoos, leather, bandannas, and facial hair. If you fit that stereotype, I'm guessing you don't need to buy a cup of coffee to prove your badness. I don't mean to kick a business when it's down and out, but this place really irked me because of it's bold use of the word "ass." At the time when they first opened, my son was learning to read and he was noticing the signs around town and reading them to us. It was a wonderful parenting moment for both my wife and I hearing our son see the world in a new way. It wasn't so much that a business tried to do something like this as it was the City of Salem allowed these signs to go up. Don't we have an ordinance against profanity? I guess not. So long, Bad Ass, I truly hope that the owners and employees find other work soon.

Posted 7/9/07
When I was a kid, if my grandmother ever heard me say the "A" word, she would wash my mouth out with soap. Nowadays, it's become more acceptable and in Salem they are putting the word in neon red lights for all to see. This coffeehouse on Commercial Street near Walgreen's is proud of it's ass and they are hoping that ass will bring in lots of thirsty customers. Looking at their ass closely, I can't figure out why they think it's so bad. It's not big or too hairy. Maybe their ass smells bad. It's funny because I never thought of putting an ass and coffee together. When I taste a beverage, hot or cold, I never think about asses because they're dirty and I wouldn't want one near my drink. But the owner here must think that Salem is ready for his ass and they want you to drive thru and get a tall dark one. (coffee that is) So Eat Salem welcomes this new business and their ass mascot to our city even though I will probably never go there.

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Almost as quickly as I can type the words "ass mascot" does one appear on the streets of South Salem. I almost drove my car off the road, when I saw someone dressed in an ass costume waving customers into their coffeehouse. I felt sorry for this poor person who must have been sweating his ass off inside the furry costume on this hot summer day. If the owners or employees of Bad Ass Coffee read this blog, please email me when the ass will be back on the street. eatsalem@gmail.com. I would love to get a picture of it.

4340 Commercial St SE
Salem, OR 97302

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I make my coffee at home. I have four or five travel cups. I also have four or five extra dollars in my pocket each time I do that!

I can't believe how people line up to buy overpriced coffee! Idiots.

EazyMoney said...

Anyone remember when the g in the Stuart Andersons Black Angus sign burned out in downtown Salem back in the late 70's?

K & N said...

Oh my gosh! As funny as that is, it's pretty close to cruel and unusual treatment of a person! ;>) The Ass probably thought the hot weather wasn't so bad once they pulled that costume off. I hope you do get a picture of that!

Anonymous said...

Before posting the review the author might have, and this is only a small suggestion, researched the company. Readers may have wanted to know that Bad Ass Coffee is franchise chain based out of Hawaii that uses coffee beans grown on Maui, Kauai and on the Big Island. Readers may have also wanted to know if Bad Ass Coffee has seating available as the review only references a drive-thru. I don’t wish to pick nits, I know how taxing reviewing a cup of coffee must be given other pressures – after all, there was a Dunkin Donuts to review.

Salem Man said...

anonymous,
I don't visit coffeehouses very often. I find that paying $3 for a cup of coffee to be a bit outrageous in itself. Right now there are lots of places in town that sell coffee so I imagine it's difficult to get people in the door. I provided a link on my post with the corporate website for Bad Ass in case you missed it. From there you can figure out that this is a chain. If Bad Ass is your business, then you should expect outrageous criticism with a name like that. If anything this blog gets your business in front of people who live in other parts of the town. If you wat to advertise send me an email at eatsalem@gmail.com.

peacenik said...

B.A. offers a spacious, Hawaii-theme cafe to sit and chat with friends. Excellent coffee, too!

Anonymous said...

Is this site an actual restaurant review site, or just for the amusement of those not aware that there is more than one definition for ass? From this review, all that has been revealed is the juvenile perspective of the writer, it would have been nice to know something about the products Bad Ass Coffee offers in their establishment.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the last comment. If people take their mind out of the gutter long enough, they would realize that this is a great establishment. It is a very family friendly place to visit, the coffee is great,and the service is wonderful (not to mention the really hot guy named jordan there ;). People should give them a chance because after they have had a cup of their coffee they will not want to go back to the fake stuff that starbucks and dutch bros offers them (at the same price I might add). So give them a shot people and don't judge them before you have tried them.

Anonymous said...

If you must know, the name of this coffee shop is refering to the ledgend of the donkeys that brought the KONA beans down the rugged Hawaiian mountains. The Hawaiian's who worked these donkey's called them the "BAD ASSES" or how it translated into todays verbage. (hense the name Bad Ass) It is not a dirty smelly ass but hard working donkeys a little research regarding this matter might have been a good idea and also trying the coffee. Kona coffee is a one of a kind and VERY hard to find. The atmosphere in the coffee shop is incredible and the service is outstanding. (As well as the owners, Tracy Hayes and Kate Webb)

Melina the Salem Oregon Real Estate Specialist said...

I have to say as a parent I was surprised that they allowed a business to be named with what most people would consider profanity.

While I can see that there is some history about the name, driving by it and seeing the words Bad Ass up there, aren't going to make me want to go in.

This is Salem Oregon not Hawaii and we have no context for the name of the company. I just don't think it was a good idea in a town like this.

Anonymous said...

When I first drove by this coffeehouse I had my children in the car. They said, "Look Mom! That coffee place uses the A-word!" I used the experience to teach them about how the "A- word" is also a word for donkey. We all agreed that we were a bit uncomfortable using the A-word for donkey and agreed collectively to refer to it as the "Bad Donkey Coffee Place!" I then investigated without the kids. I found that they had the best sugar-free chai latte in town! They had great service and a fun atmosphere. I took my kids to get cocoa there a time or two and they unquestioningly referred to it as "Bad Donkey Coffee Place" as they sipped their cocoa in the cups that read "Bad Ass Coffee." I felt like this was at least one way that I could teach my children that we may not be able to change the world to suit us but we can change our reactions to it. One of those Serenity Prayer moments...

William said...

Went in there with my wife a couple months ago and were disappointed enough in the coffee we never went back. Just basically colored water. We are coffee snobs and like to taste the coffee. We were sad to see Coffee People go (except the airport store...) Bill Jones Silverton

Lisa Anne said...

Salem isn't the first to have a problem with the name of this coffee establishment. Even though I am a native Salemite, when I was living in Indianapolis, IN, it was a big deal when Bad Ass opened their doors in late 2003. And not a big deal in a good way. After a while business picked up as many liked their coffee. Personally I think their flavored mochas and lattes are too sweet. I didn't think anyone could make them sweeter than Starbucks, and Bad Ass proved me wrong. So I'm not sad to see it go... there are many better places in Salem to get coffee.

Anonymous said...

For Me and My Wife...We LOVED Bad Ass Mochas! We were VERY sad to see them go. I (for the first time in my life) called the main company to determine what happened. They said there was not enough traffic and felt the backwards built store didn't help them much for what they were trying to offer.
We loved thier coffee and the folks behind the counter were always very pleasent. Unlike the fast food store next to it, which seems to servive :(
They tried as hard as any business i've seen in Salem, too bad it didn't work out. Me and my wife now struggle with who to get a GOOD mocha from. We end up driving all the way downtown to "The Coffee House" for the Ice Toddy Mochas as they are about all that we can enjoy anymore.

Frank davis

Anonymous said...

I tried Karma Coffee on 12th St. (by the Fairview St. intersection - on the west side next to Center Market) the first time the other day and really enjoyed my drink. I tried a blended drink and was really happy that it was very flavorful and thick. I absolutely hate getting a blended drink where they get it right out of a slushy-type machine then add some flavor! When I asked what they do differently, I was told they use a cold espresso so the ice mixes well and each drink is 'made to order' in a blender. I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter and it tasted like I was eating the candy bar...yum!! She said the Chocolate Mint and Snickers flavors were popular, too.

The service was really friendly. Plus, I am really big on promoting local businesses and will definitely be going back often to support them.

Chris said...

ass is actually a word in the English language which means donkey (AND ITS USED IN THE BIBLE!) why would it be wrong for your kid to say it? would it hurt your virgin ears?

i fell in love with their mocha coffee while on vacation in reddington shores, florida last year and was very sad to find out that the indy locations had closed...especially because of puritanical hoosiers who were SO offended by the name...LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE!!!

it reminds me of the carmel moms who got their panties in a wad last year over a victoria secret manequin display in the window of a mall...as if we're all headed straight to hell because we drink coffee from a mug with the word ASS on it and we see a lacy bra on a freakin' manequin!

Anonymous said...

Now it is "The Grind"!! Excellent, yummy wood-roasted coffee! The service is wonderful, the owner has been in the business for over 8 years!! Knows what she is doing!! Food is great, Grinders are INSANE!! :-) Try it, you'll be by again! Inside is a warm, cozy, zen like environment.. WITH WI-Fi and a flat-screen! They are even going to get a Wii for kids!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't frequent an establishment named as list one any more than I would if it was called F-you coffee. Crude is crude, no matter what other definitions you can find for the word.

Anonymous said...

for anyone who has concerns with Bad Ass Coffee the name, what it represents, why associate ass with coffee. why dont you do some research before bashing something you have no idea about??? badasscoffee.com click on the about us link because some of your comments just sound really ignorant and absured.. Just to save you LAZY ASSES some time its called Bad Ass because thats what they called the donkeys that halled the coffee beans up and down the kona hills of hawaii. Bad because of the loud sounds that would eco through the hills and Ass because its the original name for donkey. so lets not take things so out of contexts with the stupid comments. TO ALL THE INTELLIGENT PEOPLE ON THIS BLOG THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT : )

Kenneth Kane (owner) Bad Ass Coffee Hunters Creek Orlando, FL

Anonymous said...

Wow you can all go FUCK off. The people who worked there were great coffee makers. They actually understood the art of pulling a good shot of esspresso. And if you actually did some research the donkey has very specific meaning. In Hawaii, where the beans are from, they use donkeys to Bring all of them down to the bottom after they've been picked. They call the donkeys the bad ass ones. It's people like you who make it so old fashion conformity! The word ass is used in many things including the bible. It's the real name of a donkey. So get over yourself and grow up!

Anonymous said...

Salem Man -- with people's panties in a bunch over the name "Bad Ass Coffee" -- even though it isn't even around here anymore -- how did that last comment get through your filter containing that language?

Anonymous said...

Not a wise name. Offensive to some, goofy to others (like me).

Sure ass has different meanings but... In Europe they call cigarettes fags, but calling a bar in Salem: Fag Bar, would not be a wise idea.

The mean spirited comments above by one of the Florida owners - - I am sure will change peoples minds..

Salem Man said...

I'm not a prude about language. I have no problems with the use of four letter words on blogs. The difference between a swear word online and a sign, is that the sign is in the public view of drivers and children. I doubt that young children are reading this site. If they are, then the parents need to monitor their online activity more closely. If a child said the word "ass" at school they would be in trouble with the principal, I hope. How is a school supposed to enforce a language rule if the word is prominently displayed around town. And quite frankly, the name of the business is in bad taste and it makes that neighborhood look trashy. Yes, I know, it's about the donkeys that heroically carried the greatest coffee beans in the world a hundred miles over the hills to the roasters. What it is to most customers is a not so subtle way of pointing out to everyone how tough they are. If that's what you're into, go for it, but don't put up a "bad ass" sign in the neighborhood and complain that people are criticizing it.

Anonymous said...

wow, okay, for all of you pious individuals out there ,get over yourselves and teach your children something instead of saying oh my goodness , we don't say that word. Hey our Lord Jesus rode into town on an ASS.okay? so come on. don't blow a name out of the water because some people use it inappropriately. this company rocks. and has the best coffee I've personally ever drank.