Loading your recommendations…

Pride Profiles: Catalyst Cafe

Fantastic food and coffee in an important, expanding community gathering spot.

In the year and a half since it's been open, Catalyst Cafe in Everett has become a very important part of Snohomish County's queer community.

I stopped by recently for my first salted caramel Italian soda and the last turkey sandwich that would ever be served there. Thankfully when the doors closed for good on May 21, 2023 it wasn't part of the avalanche of bad national news the community has weathered leading up to Pride this year.

Original location. New spot coming soon to downtown Everett!

This small neighborhood cafe is moving downtown.

Word got to a well-known downtown commercial real estate broker that the lease at the original location at 1513 23rd St. in Everett was up, and he came to Catalyst owner AJ Gearhart with an offer they couldn't refuse: three times the square footage and a real kitchen in the historic Schmalz building on downtown Everett's main drag. 

The move to 1709 Hewitt will address the main issue Catalyst Cafe has faced. "Events have been so packed that we have to turn people away at the door," Gearhart explained. "I get contacted by people all the time wanting to have group events and end up missing opportunities to serve larger parts of the community."

One thing that won't change is Gearhart's commitment to providing an alternative to bars, bistros, and even other coffee shops that serve alcohol. "I love the idea that so many coffee shops are incorporating alcohol into their menu, but it's also taking away safe sober spaces. It didn't occur to me until experiencing it with some friends that going into a coffee shop could be an issue for newly sober people."

page image

There's no opening date yet due to the permitting process, so regulars will have to wait a while to resume their favorite events at Catalyst such as Queereoke and Games night, Open Mic, Drag Story Time, and Trans.Formation, the mixer and clothing exchange designed to help transgender and nonbinary people figure out their personal style, build a wardrobe, and help others do the same, for free. But the stage and expanded layout will mean bigger and better events, more fun, and less stress.

Once the space is open and operating, the menu will expand to include lots of new items, including a full breakfast menu. But don't worry, crowd favorites from South Fork Baking Company and Superfree Bakehouse will still be on offer. Follow Catalyst Cafe on Instagram so you can be among the first to celebrate the bigger, better downtown space when it opens.


Pride Month Profiles: Paca Pride. Alpacas + yurts = magic.

Yurts don't hurt

Pride Month Profiles: Petrikor delivers quality goods in downtown Everett.

Learn more
Christopher Bragg

Want More Trip Inspiration?

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the freshest stories, videos, and travel ideas from our corner of the PNW.

Sign Me Up