Monorail Espresso

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Monorail Espresso is a coffeehouse in Seattle. It is notable as having been founded as the first espresso cart in the world. An espresso cart is a food cart from which a barista can make espresso.


The original Monorail Espresso

On December 1, 1980, Seattle proprietor Chuck Beek set up an espresso cart at Westlake Mall under the Seattle Center Monorail as an experiment to see whether there was a market for espresso sold on the street rather than in a traditional coffeehouse.[1] The business model proved successful and in 1997, the business moved from a cart to a walkup window.[1] The coffeehouse is located at 510 Pike Street in Seattle and today is owned and operated by former Monorail barista, Aimee Peck.

Monorail Espresso founder, Chuck Beek in front of his original cart.

In 2015, Monorail opened a second location in the lobby of the Columbia Center, located at 701 Fifth Avenue in Seattle. This location is the only commercial establishment in the building's 5th Avenue lobby.[2]

In 2018, Monorail opened a third location on Westlake Avenue between 8th and 9th Avenues.[3]


  1. ^ a b Munson, Chris; Cone, Dani (2009). Tall skinny bitter : notes from the center of coffee culture. Seattle, Wash.: Sasquatch Books. ISBN 978-1-57061-565-8.
  2. ^ "Northwest Legends: Monorail Espresso". Mukilteo Coffee. Archived from the original on 2017-04-30. Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  3. ^ "Westlake Ave". Monorail Espresso. Retrieved April 29, 2021.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′40″N 122°20′06″W / 47.61111°N 122.33500°W / 47.61111; -122.33500