Shot in the Dark Espresso Bar

2517 NE 238th

Gresham, OR








Shot in the Dark Espresso Bar, in Gresham, is typically suburban, with its strip mall location and modern, non-descript, glass-and-metal building. But coffee drinkers must have their fixes there too, right? Formerly a Coffee’s On store, the place became independent about a year ago. It has plain round formica tables and a gas fireplace, intended to add coziness. However, this didn’t strike me as “cozy” because it was simply plopped down and installed right by the front window, rather than designed into the floor plan (Besides, “cozy” to me suggests an old-fashioned nook of some sort, small windows, soft lamps, and easy chairs with puffy pillows. I add real fire, but that may be too idealistic). The shop is serviceable and clean, but not very interesting. Along one wall are many items for sale (cards, knick-knacks, cups, lotions, pictures, etc.), apparently on consignment. These failed to attract my attention; in general, I felt as if I were at a holiday pop-up store in a mall.

Fare: Drip coffee was $1.50, with free refills. Hooray! For an extra 40 cents, I upgraded to their specialty, the “Shot in the Dark” (black coffee with an extra shot of espresso). Didn’t taste much stronger than the plain coffee. But whoo-o-o knows, I may become a real night owl tonight, considering the extra caffeine. Other options included Italian sodas, hot sweet-and-calorie-laden drinks (such as a caramel latte on special), and bubble teas. A small pastry rack held some tasty-looking cookies and a few other items.

Clientele and service: Someone was using a laptop at a table, and one man in a ball-cap came in for a Texas-sized cuppa something. This was a small place with not much activity this mid-afternoon. Our server willingly answered my questions and was friendly, however.

Rating: 2 (out of 5) coffee beans. Coffee and its (free!) refills were appreciated, but the place was somewhat bland.