On December 1, 1980, Seattle proprietor Chuck Beek set up an espresso cart at Westlake Center 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. The business model proved successful and in 1997, the business moved from a cart to a walkup window. The coffeehouse is located at 510 Pike Street in Seattle and today is owned and operated by former Monorail barista, Aimee Peck.
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 lobby.