Well, I goofed. My informants about the demise of the legendary Last Exit coffeehouse were misinformed, it seems. I just received the following e-mail from Norm Arkans, executive director of media relations and communications for the University of Washington:
The building we are demolishing at [Northeast] 41st [Street] and Brooklyn [Avenue Northeast] is not the old Last Exit (which is actually south of 40th). The one we're going to tear down is an old, nondescript small office building one block north of Campus Parkway.
Sorry. Sort of takes the wind out of your story's sails.
In a phone call, Arkans says he knows of nothing imminent for the Last Exit site, but "who knows?" He wouldn't rule out the university redeveloping it at some point, perhaps for student housing. In another e-mail, he writes: "We'll probably tear down the old Last Exit Building ... at some point in the future, but not now."
So my obit was premature. The wind is out of the story's sails, but at least it's good news.
Now if only the reports about Walt Crowley were equally premature.