Godfather’s Books & Espresso Bar (Astoria, Oregon)

Oregon Film Museum in Astoria (WildmooBooks.com)
Matt, Jason, and Laura pose in front of the Oregon Film Museum. This is the jail featured in the 1985 movie Goonies.

Laura and I just got home from vacation. We met up with our friends Jason and Matt from Chicago in San Francisco for a road trip up the Northern California and Oregon Coasts before turning inland to Portland.

Astoria is the oldest U.S. town in Oregon. We stopped there mainly to visit the Oregon Film Museum, which celebrates films shot in Oregon and is heavy on the 80s hit, Goonies. In the opening scene of that movie, characters escape from this prison building.

I love seeing historic buildings repurposed for public use. The museum is small but interesting. What made it a blast is the mini film studio set up for folks to film their own scenes. For the price of admission, visitors can film up to five short scenes with various backdrops — from The Shining to a car chase to a kitchen table in the corner of a dilapidated room that has a creepy vibe — that are later emailed to you.

Film a scene at the Oregon Film Museum (WildmooBooks.com)
Jason works the camera while Matt & Laura improvise their scene.

There are scripts available or you can ad lib. The latter is how we rolled, as you might guess from Matt and Laura’s car scene above. They improvised characters who’ve escaped from a Renaissance Fair and are being chased by police.

After fun at the museum, we headed to Godfather’s Books & Espresso Bar.

Godfather's Books in Astoria, OR (WildmooBooks.com)
Godfather’s Books & Espresso Bar is on Commercial Street, which is the main drag in town.
Godfather's Books front door detail (WildmooBooks.com)
A welcoming front door.

A few internal photos:

Mystery and Literature at Godfather's Books in Astoria, OR (WildmooBooks.com)
Heading toward two of my favorite sections, Mystery & Literature.
Mystery Shelf Talker at Godfather's Books in Astoria, OR (WildmooBooks.com)
The best section shelf labels, perhaps ever.
The Espresso Bar & Cash Wrap Area at Godfather's Books in Astoria, OR (WildmooBooks.com)
The Espresso Bar and check out. Local artists, including some former employees, decorated these ceiling tiles. Thanks to Laura for sharing this photo.
Puppy visiting Godfather's Books in Astoria, OR (WildmooBooks.com)
The store has a nice mix of new and used titles, but the biggest hit during our visit was this adorable, mellow puppy.
Visiting Godfather's Books in Astoria, OR (WildmooBooks.com)
Book nerds in their natural habitat.
Our book haul from Godfather's Books in Astoria, Oregon (WildmooBooks.com)
New books in the house. Our joint haul from Godfather’s.

Laura’s haul:

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (HarperTorch, 1974)
  • Unplug and Play: 50 Original Group Games That Don’t Need Charging by Brad Berger (Familius, 2016)
  • William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher (Quirk Books, 2014)

Chris’s haul:

  • On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder (Tim Duggan Books, 2017)
  • The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato (Penguin Classics, first published 1948)
  • The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker (Penguin Classics, first published 1903)

According to the store’s Facebook page owner Charlie Holboke started selling books and espresso in the town of Seaside in 1978. He opened Godfather’s Books and Espresso Bar in 1993. It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area or a stop if you’re driving through.

Coming up next: our book adventures in Portland.

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