IKE Box Coffee House
Salem’s local coffee shop, IKE Box, currently an all ages music venue and refuge for troubled teens, has served as a facet of Salem’s community since 1891.
IKE Box was not always the current coffee house that we know it as today. In fact, prior to being sold to the YMCA in 1999, the building was known as the Rigdon-Ransom Colonial Chapel. Later, in December of 2004, the YMCA would partner with IKE Media, who added a cafe and additional youth driven programs to the building.
One program, called Isaac’s Room, holds a dear spot in the hearts of the founders Tiffany and Mark Bulgin. Named after their son, who passed away a year after his birth due to a heart condition, the non-profit program aims to help at risk teens.
“Isaac’s Room is our effort to extend the family love and support that we would eagerly have given Isaac throughout his life to the young people in our community who have suffered from a shortage of it throughout theirs. Just as the room that Isaac was supposed to live in is physically empty and therefore available, the space we make in our lives for our own kids is now available through Isaac’s Room,” the Bulgins said on the program’s website.
“I like that it’s an area where you can go and you can just work on what you want, whether it’s homework or actual work for your job. You can go there to hang out with friends, and it’s a really quiet, nice environment. The staff are really engaging, and the prices are reasonable.” Kylee Harris ‘19 said.
The 120 year old funeral home turned cafe is not just an important element in the life of Salem’s youth, but also of its musical history. The venue hosted Portland band Typhoon’s first show in Salem, and has also partnered with organizations such as River City Rock Star Academy for hosting student performed concerts.