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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Coffee, cocktails & karaoke

Neon lights strobe, dancing on the vehicles passing by while bass from the karaoke gently rumbled the window panes of 300 West Champion St.

On Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. the Black Drop Coffee House’s doors opened, signups for karaoke began, drinks started being mixed and the hors d’oeuvre table, depleting.

Black Drop, stocked up on a special set of unique supplies, prepared to host their seventh “Blackout” event. The event featured the regular coffee menu as well as a number of specialty cocktails. The night was not age-restricted, though the alcoholic drinks were limited to those over 21.

The cocktail list consisted of eight different drinks, both warm and cold, to appeal to all in attendance.

The evening’s “Blackout” menu ranged from Bailey’s, brandy and bourbon to cinnamon liqueur, maple whiskey and chocolate vodka. Prices were set at $5 for each of the specialty drinks.

The first celebration was originally hosted in January 2010 as a press release, and a gathering of friends, said Ryan Siu, one of the owners.

Drink names matched each cocktail from cold and iced, “Release The Kraken,” to warm and sweet, “Heffalump & Woozle.”

“The drinks were designed to highlight some of our menu favorites and were a collaborative effort with the entire staff,” owners Siu and Stephanie Oppelaar said in an email. “We come up with funny names because we think we’re pretty clever. Some of the names are spins on regular menu drinks, like the Heffalump and Woozle is a play on the NON boozy coffee drink the 100 Acre wood. The Dizzy Bee was a play on the Bees Knees.”

Black Drop brewed some of their coffee for use in their take on Irish Coffee.

No particular vibe was pinned to this better-dressed event, so when it came to karaoke, any song flew.

Songs ranged from “Sweet Transvestite” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show to “Jump On It” by Sugarhill Gang Apache.

The karaoke attracted all sorts of singers, even Siu signed up and left serving from behind the counter and head up to the stage and sing a song by Panic! At the Disco for the crowd. “Karaoke is always a blast,” Siu said.

Bobbie B., 22, said she came to last year’s Black Drop anniversary party, and heard about this year’s event this by the posters displayed on the wall inside the building.

“It depends on how wild you want it to get. You can order as many or as few drinks as you want,” Bobby said. “A lot of people who come and hangout here are quirky people, but they’re all really fun.”

The Black Drop’s drinks are good with or without booze, Bobby said.

If you wanted to drink, you’ll have needed a stamp from doorperson, Dylan Kloch, 23. Kloch began working at the Black Drop Coffee House seven months ago, he said.

Having no expectations of the night’s turnout, but knowing business has been only going up lately, Kloch said he assumed the event would be busy, but it turned out busier than he expected.

“Coffee and booze, seems like a surefire combination to get shit-tons of people in here,” Kloch said.

Kloch said working at Black Drop has been fantastic because he not only gets to work for people he respects, but people he is friends with, too.

“[The Black Drop Coffee House] is a community,” Kloch said. “It’s an amazing space. I love my job, which is a weird thing to be able to say about a service job.”

Because the event welcomed all ages, 18-year-old Farrel Komara, an international student from Indonesia currently studying at Whatcom Community College, was able to attend.

Komara has a friend who works at the coffeehouse, and since he follows their Facebook page, he knew about the event.

“I’m really happy they made this for all ages, so people who are not here to drink can just have fun,” Komara said. “I’m just going to chill and actually drink coffee.”

Komara said the only coffee he’ll drink is coffee from the Black Drop Coffee House.

The Black Drop Coffee House also semi-regularly runs smaller events like board-game nights and a slasher-movie night for anti-valentine’s day, Siu and Oppelaar said in an email.

The next big event they will be hosting is the Save Our City zombie event, which is a big game of water-balloon tag against people dressed like zombies. The event typically occurs in late May or early June and spans throughout downtown Bellingham with a base in Maritime Heritage Park, Siu and Oppelaar said in an email.

Last year, there were nearly 200 participants and 4,000 water balloons, Siu and Oppelaar said in an email.


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