Watchtower Coffee and Comics recently found a new home.
After closing in December 2019, the café, previously located across the street from the South City Campus, moved one block west on Main Street and officially re-opened March 2. The husband-and-wife team of Mike Tuiasoa and Cori Christine own and run the café alongside their kids.
A space of their own
The couple built and designed the newly upgraded café. This gave the two of them the chance to re-start and re-imagine a space of their own. When creating the space, they wanted it to be different than the old location.
“When we built this space out and designed it, we designed it so that people would interact with each other,” Tuiasoa said.
Unlike the new space, the State Street location was large, expensive, difficult to heat and cool, and a challenge overall to maintain.
The Main Street location, while smaller and more condensed, is easier to manage as a small family. The purpose of a smaller location was to create a space where more people could interact.
They used the smaller building to their advantage. Tables are larger, fit for more people at each table. Tuiasoa also brought in bar stools at the countertop to allow more communication between the associates and others seated at the counter.
Tuiasoa and Christine wanted to bring in games for people to play, to create an environment that encourages people to interact. The café has a large collection of board games for guests to play. If people prefer to play old fashion coin video games, the café boasts an arcade game as well.
The aim is to create a fun and enjoyable place for everyone.
“We got all walks of life that came in through the door: everything from people that needed a meeting place, people that were looking for a space to write or draw, people that wanted to play games, and families and then also students. So, we got a really wide range of people,” Tuiasoa said.
Condensing the space creates an environment for people to easily interact.
“It gets full a lot faster. You kind of get that lively, high energy buzz of people interacting, playing games with each other, geeking out, nerding out about movies and comics. And it would take about three times as many people to get that same energy and that same vibe in the old location. So, by condensing the space, you kind of concentrate that interaction and that energy and that vibe and it makes it a lot easier and more fun to get there,” Tuiasoa explained.
Everything they have to offer
Not only is the café comfortable and lively, the coffee is something everyone can get a taste of. From espressos to lattes or teas and sodas, Watchtower has a large variety of beverages.
As Tuiasoa said, he and his wife consider themselves “foodies.” They aspire to serve only the best coffee.
Not only are the beverages tasty, but they are also affordable. Prices range for $2.50-$4 for most drinks.
Customers can also purchase items such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, vinyl records, comic books and stickers.
A rewarding feeling
Tuiasoa and Christine have worked hard to create the space they’ve always wanted; they believe they’ve achieved it. A space for fun, interaction, entertainment, inclusion, and great coffee.
“It’s very rewarding to create a space that attracts like-minded people like my wife and I,” Tuiasoa said.
Keeping their distance — for now
Watchtower is currently closed due to the Covid-19 virus.
“It was a tough decision, but we feel it’s the responsible thing to do. We’re all in this together, and we will get through this. We’ll be back serving coffee and geeking out with you as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Tuiasoa said in a recent Facebook post.
When conditions improve, Watchtower’s normal hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visit Watchtower’s website for location and menu information, to connect to social media or to purchase coffee beans.