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Local downtown coffee shop shuts its doors for good April 7 amid the COVID-19 pandemic

COURTESY PHOTO  - Lisa Shaw-Ryan and her husband, Chuck, decided to close Chuck's Place permanently April 7. For 20 years, Chuck's Place was a gathering spot — a place for morning coffee goers, business meetings, a family-friendly sit-down. It was a communal area for people that found a home in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego.

And while owners Lisa Shaw-Ryan and her husband, Chuck, plan on embracing that sense of community wherever they are, it's going to look a bit different.

Shaw-Ryan announced today that the Chuck's location that Lake Oswegans have come to know and cherish is closed permanently.

"We're really proud of what we did and this community is part of our family and we feel like we're a part of theirs," said Shaw-Ryan, adding that she and Chuck are optimistic and can create something new. "This is a time of change and we're going to change."

Many small businesses have struggled to pay rent and stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chuck's Place couldn't weather the storm.

It was a tough decision for the owners to make, but a necessary one.

"Nobody wants to sit and be sad," Shaw-Ryan said. "We just want to celebrate. This community has totally embraced us since day one."

Chucks opened in 1999 on 5th Street and moved to its current location in 2009.

Throughout the years, Shaw-Ryan said she watched children grow up, people get sick and recover — or not.

"We went through it together. Each day, every day, snow storms, heat waves, staff changes, remodels, hellos and goodbyes …. You've stood by us through all of it all while listening to old time country music on repeat," Shaw-Ryan said in a Facebook post April 7. "Now this….2020, the year of the pandemic…again, going through it together. Chuck's is closing in this location, it seems fitting with all the change, that we change also. We just couldn't see signing another lease in this space with all the uncertainty we face. We knew it would be hard, but it feels right."

Comments poured in, showing optimism, support and gratitude.

Shaw-Ryan said that the couple's other two businesses, Chuckie Pies and Casa Pequena Taqueria, will remain open for the time being and in the future, the couple could transition some of Chuck's components like grab-and-go items and coffee to one of their other businesses.

"We're creative," Shaw-Ryan said. "Nothing is going to be the same after this pandemic, including Chuck's, but that doesn't mean we can't bring something great ... It's just different."


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