Underground in a room filled with people and the aroma of fresh espresso, Zoe Coffee House and Pub attracts those searching for the novel, owner Mike Wagoner said.
Since 2005, Zoe has served coffee and food to the Pullman community.
"Hopefully when people hear the name ‘Zoe’ they think of home, awesome coffee, awesome food and a fun, vibrant atmosphere," Wagoner said.
In the 1960s the Interfaith House, in which Zoe occupies the basement, stood as a place where student groups, not recognized by the university, met and organized.
Groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the Black Student Union were banned from the university, but found refuge in the building once known as The Koinonia House, a Greek word meaning contribution.
When Wagoner opened Zoe, he did not want the original purpose of the building to be forgotten.
"It’s part of our history, part of our aura, part of our vibe," he said.
A collage of magazine covers, newspaper clippings, posters and pictures covering a back wall captures a radical time in history when all citizens didn’t have equal rights.
Now, Zoe is a place where students and community members come to enjoy themselves and what the establishment offers. Wagoner takes pride in the quality of his products and service.
"We nurse every single drink to bring out the essence of the espresso. You’re not just getting some shots in some steamed milk," he said.
Jacquelyn Ells, a junior music education major, said she comes back to Zoe because, "The coffee is really delicious, it’s not a hit or miss kind of place."
Aside from coffee, Zoe offers an array of menu items from sandwiches and burgers to gyros and breakfast items.
Sophomore criminal justice major Kelly Senegor said, "I don’t drink coffee, but I love their breakfast sandwiches."
Senegor said she comes to Zoe because it is a nice quiet place to study and get things done.
Monday nights at Zoe is Jazz night, where the WSU jazz class comes to play from 8-10 p.m. Zoe also serves beer, wine and hard liquor drinks. Happy hour is from 5-7 p.m. every night with $3 microbrews and discounted wine.
The newest addition to the business is the pickup order service. Customers can now call in or go online every day from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. and 5- 9p.m. to order food ahead of time.
Seated at a Zoe coffee table in a corner of his shop, Wagoner said, "Just sitting here makes me happy because everyone around me is happy. That’s why we started this business, to bring happiness and smiles to people."