With a private lot, plenty of food and beverages, and a welcoming atmosphere, this coffee shop was a safe haven for H2Oi 2020 attendees.
Things have more or less returned to normal in Ocean City, Maryland after one of the largest unofficial H2Oi’s in history. The city declared their strategy of ticketing, towing, and calling in the calvary from surrounding cities a success.
But, there’s still that lingering animosity between city and H2Oi 2020 attendees that’s not going away. In fact, the mayor and Chief of Police are looking to ramp up 2020s strategy even more so for next year. In a retaliation, plans for H2OI 2021 are already underway.
Shut us out? We’ll come back for more.
No one from either side seemed to want to work together this H2Oi 202Oi, that is, except for one coffee shop. Smack dab in the middle of Ocean City and with dozens of private parking spots under their responsibility, Coffee Beanery Ocean City off of 94th street seemed to be the only haven for H2Oi 2020 attendees.
According to comments in a H2Oi-Specific Facebook group, the owner of this Coffee Beanery has been doing this for years now, opening up his coffee shop and the parking spaces in front of it for attendees to meet, buy some coffee, and enjoy themselves. Instead of making foes with the event, they welcomed the noise and tire smoke with open arms.
A quick search and looking back at updates from that weekend, the Coffee Beanery collaborated with a handful of social media groups, most notably Ocean City Cars and Coffee (organized every week at this same location) RevNation.Net, and a few other meet organizers, to make the front of their coffee shop a safe place to hang out.
When one Coffee Beanery employee was asked via SnapChat if the Coffee Beanery owners were mad at how many people showed up, he replied,
“No, I talked to my boss and she wanted you guys there.”
Video captured at the peak of the meetups show the Coffee Beanery owner, in so many words, telling police to please remove any tow trucks and police off their private property.
You can hear him in the video below telling the everyone within earshot,
“you guys are more than welcome here, nobody’s trespassing.”
This video below shows Ocean City police trying and failing to intimidate gathered H2Oi attendees, telling them they should vacate the area immediately even though the Coffee Beanery owner assured them they’re OK.
Of course, when you’re the last bastion to legally pull off a burnout without fear of getting impounded or ticketed, some H2Oi attendees were more than willing to test the limits of their welcome.
In recognition for standing with the car community, Ocean City reputation be dam*ed, their establishment was flooded with support. Just take a peek at their Yelp and Google reviews from a week ago.
In the handful of hours cars were parked at their location, sure, there were hot spots where things got a little rowdy, but everyone was safe and enjoyed themselves.
In return, I’m sure Coffee Beanery enjoyed increased sales.
For 2021, Ocean City seems hellbent on amplifying its strategy from just a few days ago. Hopefully, the Coffee Beanery will maintain, and perhaps expand its authority over the parking spots they have legal claim to.