After years of plotting, Hasta Muerte Coffee — a third-wave cafe, radical bookstore, and community events space — will hold its grand opening. While hip coffee shops are often thought of as gentrifying sources, the Hasta Muerte collective is working to actively subvert that notion. Its five members — who have experience in community organizing, activism, art, music, and bikes — were primarily drawn to coffee as a way to bring people together. Another element working in their favor is that three of them actually live in Fruitvale.
“The first step is offering coffee, community, and solidarity,” worker-owner Matt Gereghty said. After normal coffee-consuming hours, Hasta Muerte plans to organize cultural events like film screenings, workshops, and art shows — “things that are centered on holding down our various and vibrant cultural identities,” Gereghty said.
A small bookstore within the cafe is curated with an eye toward decolonizing struggles.
“What trends can history teach us about making it through the present moment and times to come? We want to add fuel to the flame of resilience and resistance,” Gereghty said.
There’s a conference room in the back, which Gereghty said Hasta Muerte plans to lend to community groups in need of meeting space. The main, 600-square-foot cafe space seats about 25 people and features a robust play area for kids.