closed its doors for the last time Saturday night after the downtown coffee shop that made headlines over the past five years for its supporting America's auto industry.
Owner A.J. O'Neil said running the cafe, which many called the "living room of Ferndale," became unaffordable but that he will continue to sell his coffee online at www.ajscoffeeworks.com.
"These coffee shops are integral parts of people's communities," O'Neil said.
Steve Brook, a musician who was involved in the shop's second Assembly Line concert, said there will be a "void" in the community with the cafe's closing.
"It's a loss for the community as well as some of the people who have come to call this place home," Brook said. "It's become almost like a public institution."
Gail Frost, of Ferndale, said she hates to see the shop close but understands the difficulties of keeping a business running.
"It's bittersweet," Frost said.
Frank Morris, who performed at AJ's on Saturday during its farewell event, said he has been playing at the cafe since 2009.
"It's sad," Morris said, adding that it's the "brotherhood" and welcoming atmosphere of the shop fostered by owner O'Neil that be missed most. "He treated you like a family member."