"Save Zoe Underground" petition circulates to keep coffeehouse that's facing eviction

PULLMAN, WA - It's no secret many college kids love their coffee.
When one Washington State University student found out her favorite coffee shop was facing eviction, she took action immediately.

Now, she has the entire campus talking about her petition to "Save Zoe Underground." Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains why the campaign caught on quick.

You may not have heard about Zoe Coffeehouse and Pub.

"It's the best place to get coffee, you're not going to find a better place to get coffee on campus," said WSU Student Joseph Varnadore.

"The coffee is absolutely fantastic, they do like the really cool latte art and stuff," said WSU Student Laura Abbott. "And the food is fantastic as well."

Then again, it was named Pullman's best kept secret for a reason.

"I think after this week, that secret might be out a little more, which is nice," said Zoe Coffeehouse and Pub Owner Mike Wagoner.

It's located in the basement of the Interfaith House, right next to the Washington State University campus. The university recently decided to buy the building, and when that happened, the Coffeehouse Owner, Mike Wagoner.... got an eviction notice from the current landlord, The Synod of Alaska-Northwest Presbyterian Church.

"They eliminated all the leases and gave us an eviction notice to leave by the 30th of April," said Wagoner.

WSU student Laura Abbott heard about the situation last Friday.

"So I started making plans right away," said Abbott. "I have to organize this Facebook, I have to publicize this Facebook, I have to start a petition, I have to show the university this is something students are not going to be pleased about."

Within an hour of hearing the news, she created this Facebook page.

"Facebook went live probably about 9:30, 9:45 Friday morning," said Abbott. "By 1:00 it had over 2,000 likes."

"By about 3:00 in the afternoon, President Floyd gave me a call personally and told me that we would still be in business through the end of our lease," said Wagoner.

At this point, the future of the coffeehouse is unclear. The university released a statement saying their purchase will need to be approved at the Board of Regents meeting in May. If the Regents approve, current tenants will be able to stay until the end of the year. In the meantime, Abbott formed a team of volunteers that will gather signatures on campus for the rest of the week.

"What I would really like to see is that they either renovate this building and allow Zoe's to remain in it, or to move Zoe's somewhere else on campus," said Abbott.

She's out to prove the students want Zoe Coffeehouse and Pub to stick around for years to come.

If you'd like to learn more about the petition,
check out the Save Zoe Underground Facebook page.