1369 Coffee House turns 20 with Saturday party, and the public and charities get the gifts

A sandwich board outside 1369 Coffee House explains its Saturday birthday party.

A sandwich board outside 1369 Coffee House explains its Saturday birthday party.

It’s a pretty good party for a 20-year-old in Cambridge: a whole day of live bands and free drinks and pastries, all benefiting local charities.

In this case, the birthday is for 1369 Coffee House, and owner Josh Gerber said the festivities will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at both locations – the 1369 Cambridge St., Inman Square, shop (the former home of the 1369 Jazz Club) that opened in January 1993 and the 757 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, shop that followed in June 1994.

As Gerber has it on the shops’ website:

From the beginning, we envisioned 1369 as more than just a place to get coffee. We offer the very best coffees and teas available. We strive to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere and to be an integral part of the community. Many friendships, including several marriages, have developed at 1369. Several books and many theses have been written at our tables. We take pride in being a good neighbor and local gathering place. We are dedicated to maintaining this feeling … We intend to survive the onslaught of chains and to endure long into the future. We will continue our commitment to our neighborhood and community.

The dual events are “to say thanks and give back to the community,” Gerber said – thus the free food, drink and entertainment and the accepting of donations for two Cambridge nonprofits, On the Rise and Food for Free. The party will carry on after closing Saturday at The Middle East, Gerber told The Cambridge Chronicle, with the public invited to keep partying at 10 p.m. alongside however many of the 430 former 1369 baristas and staff who can make it.

Food For Free rescues fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributes it within the emergency food system, where it can reach those in need. On The Rise is a day program for homeless women.

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