This photo, taken in December 2001 shows 43rd and Baltimore Avenue, just before we broke ground on construction of the first Green Line Cafe location. Just over a year later, in late January 2003, The Green Line Cafe became a reality!


From Douglas Witmer, Green Line co-owner

Happy 10th Birthday to the Green Line Cafe! It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. We opened our doors on January 20, 2003! Dan and I were the baristas and we served our first customer before dawn that wintry morning. He ambled in as though he didn’t realize we were brand new, ordered a drink to go (Dan remembers it as tea, I remember it as coffee) and made his way to work. In some ways our first sale seemed anti-climactic at the time, but on the other hand it encapsulated exactly what we wanted to be: a positive day-to-day presence people could count on in West Philly.

Green Line co-owners Douglas Witmer and Daniel Thut as baristas on our first day of business, January 20, 2003.

It has truly been an amazing decade! There have been some ups and downs for sure…A LOT of on-the-job learning for me and Dan…a surprising amount of growth…and a deep feeling of satisfaction so far having been able to serve the neighborhood with the renovation of three properties, by providing steady employment to our staff, by staging countless art, music, and poetry shows, and of course by keeping the coffee and Green Line goodies flowing to you all!

We’ll be celebrating our 10th Anniversary with various events throughout the year, so stay tuned for some fun!

To you, our lovely customers: THANK YOU! YOU’RE THE BEST! We look forward to continue bringing you coffee, culture, and conversation from West Philly!

-Douglas Witmer and Dan Thut