Six Shooter Coffee pulls off a holiday miracle to reopen after a hit-and-run crash in Collinwood

For some people, Black Friday goals might include snagging a new HDTV at rock-bottom prices or going jogging to work off the Thanksgiving calories.

For Peter Brown, his Black Friday goal was to reopen Six Shooter Coffee less than a week after a car crashed into the side of the shop, located at 16021 Waterloo Road in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood.


“The cornerstone was pushed in, and a lot of the framing in the corner of the building was destroyed,” explains Brown, adding that the windows were also broken. “It was a hit-and-run, and they still haven’t found the person who did it.”


But thanks to a kind-hearted neighborhood contractor, Brown was able to pull it off and reopen by Black Friday by putting up a false wall to replace the broken one. When the store reopened Friday, Nov. 29, Brown also raised money to cover employees’ lost tips and wages by devoting 100% of sales from stickers and can koozies.


“It’s been a whirlwind few days, but it’s all coming together, thanks to community members,” says Brown.


Brown even got a little cheeky with it—posting signs like “I Assure You, We’re Open” (a nod to the film "Clerks") and “Slow Down—Drive Like Your Kids Live Here.”


Of course, Brown has plenty to be optimistic about: In early 2020, Six Shooter Coffee will move down the street to a different location in the Waterloo Arts District, effectively doubling their space from 500 to 1,000 square feet. According to Brown, the new space is closer to what he calls “the epicenter of the neighborhood” and other businesses like Pop Life, Beachland Ballroom, and Citizen Pie.


“The new space will be much bigger and have a more open floor plan, so people will more easily be able to come in and meet and have conversations,” says Brown. “We want to accommodate our customers better.”


Until then, Brown is keeping busy, as the shop continues to recover from the hit-and-run. Six Shooter participated in Pretty Things salon’s pop-up holiday show on Dec. 1, and the shop will team up with Ritual Juicery to serve vegan hot cocoa during Winterloo on Friday, Dec. 6.


As a Chain Reaction finalist, Brown is also eagerly awaiting next week’s announcement of the Collinwood winners. If chosen, he plans to put the investment capital toward “enhancing the customer experience in terms of layout and buildout of the new space.”

For Brown, it's all about continuing to evolve with and serve the Waterloo neighborhood, which he credits for helping Six Shooter Coffee get back on its feet after the unexpected setback.

"My goal has always been to help build strong community—that's what we as people crave and need mentally," says Brown. "I can't think of a stronger, more committed community to be part of than Collinwood, and I feel very fortunate to be part of that."

Jen Jones Donatelli
Jen Jones Donatelli

About the Author: Jen Jones Donatelli

As an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist, Jen Jones Donatelli enjoys diving headfirst into her work with FreshWater Cleveland. Upon moving back to Cleveland after 16 years in Los Angeles, Jen served as FreshWater's managing editor for two years (2017-2019) and continues her work with the publication as a contributing editor and host of the FreshFaces podcast.

When not typing the day away at her laptop, she teaches writing and creativity classes through her small business Creative Groove, as well as Literary Cleveland, Cleveland State University, and more. Jen is a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.