A new espresso shop in Lostine called The Blue Banana is scheduled to open its doors April 1 directly across Hwy. 82 from the Presbyterian Church. The yellow and blue structure will be owned and operated by the Jerry Wallace family. Primarily working in the small shop will be Jerry, wife Loretta and 14-year-old daughter Kasha. Future employees could include daughter Breanna, 9, and son Aaron, 7.
In addition to standard expresso drinks the Wallaces will offer Dr. Smoothies with a diverse range of healthy additives such as bee pollen, ginkgo biloba, ginseng and other vitamins and minerals. Other drinks will include Chai Tea and, for those with a sweet tooth, Extreme Freezes.
One reason for opening the expresso shop along Hwy. 82 is to reduce the number of days the couple spend on the road selling their personalized lodgepole signs. At last count, according to Jerry Wallace, the couple spent 100 nights in motels last year selling their signs at 20 different shows. Lodgepole signs will also be sold at the espresso shop which will be open for both drive through and walk-in traffic.
Wallace said plans to open the shop have been in the works for about one year, with seven months of that year spent working with the Oregon Department of Transportation in the permitting process. The entrance to the shop will be off South Lostine River Road and the exit onto Hwy. 82.
In addition to espressos and coffees the couple will serve pastries.
The Wallaces want to keep secret the identify of the individual who first coined the name The Blue Banana.
Though the hours could change depending on business traffic, tentative hours at present are from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.