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VIDEO: AJ's Cafe Says Goodbye to Ferndale

Owner A.J. O'Neil says he's proud of his coffee shop's role as the "living room of Ferndale" and says the spirit of the shop will live on.

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."

Jessica Schrader April 03, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Ferndale Resident - Sorry for the confusion. Unfortunately the only way to really prevent that is to use your real name (which we encourage). And if you are having trouble with other areas of the site please send me an email! Margaret - I'm not sure where you posted the comment initially but please send me an email so we can discuss further. We definitely don't want that to happen again! Thanks for your patience.
Margaret Rayburn April 03, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Thanks, Jessica. I will contact you when I have time. There really isn't much to discuss, considering the event has come & gone. I will just reiterate that more thought should go into it before hitting the "delete" button so quickly.
Emily April 04, 2012 at 01:59 AM
ok ok I changed it back to my name...just not my full name. I apologize, I'm new to the patch and figured since I'm a ferndale resident it would be ok, thought maybe other people used "ferndale resident" as well. As far as the comment I had posted yesterday, apparently it needed to be taken down (I guess I didn't read the rules and regulations". In my opinion, AJ was not a good man to work for, his business ethics were entirely unethical, from the way he took care of his food items to how he treated other patrons. He didn't seem to take interest with cleaning the place and I know from experience that the Health Department wasn't very fond of the place either (to put it lightly). Just glad he's gone. Hopefully a more reputable business will fill the space!
patti April 04, 2012 at 06:23 PM
wow, like havin lunch with the girls...tks
Emily April 05, 2012 at 03:22 AM
what is tks?

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