Members of the Hemet High Choir fill the cozy Hemet Depot eatery with visions of an earlier day
■ By Matt McPherson / Contributed
Peppermint cinnamon spice filled the air; children’s laughter accompanied a jubilant chorus of Christmas and holiday music. A multigenerational crowd filled the joyous outside air as well as the warm inviting interior of Destination Coffee Shop in historic Hemet depot.
Trays of holiday decoration materials lined tables appealing to all children and parents. The environment provided a plethora of wholesome, hands-on activities that fully engaged everyone to join in the spirit of the season. Gourmet flavorful coffees, mochas, and hot cocoa were joined with a plentitude of pastries, cookies, muffins, sweets, and everyone’s favorite: “The Wafflewich.” Other evening favorites included pumpkin cheesecake, red velvet cupcakes, in addition to white chocolate pistachio almond fudge.
Members of Hemet High Choir sang carols, their voices wafting through the cozy restaurant and patio to enhance the holiday spirit. The event summoned a time when Thomas Kinkade might have returned to Hemet once again to paint another glorious vision of our beautiful downtown train depot. They sang a multitude of cultural renditions of holiday songs including “Siyahamba,” various themes on “Fa La La,” “How Like a Winter,” in addition to many others. As the evening wound down, the carolers made their way inside the warm bistro and led a sing-along with the children and their families, culminating in a rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
“What a FUN evening! exclaimed Ellen Tichy, who attended the event. “My daughter Cassi and seven other choir members went ‘a caroling’ for a few hours at the historical old train depot in the middle of town. Bundling up against the wintery Hemet weather was a practical AND festive decision…they looked adorable and performed to a warm, appreciative audience! Under the recent ownership of the very creative and friendly Yepremian family, this restaurant, now called Destination Coffee Bar and Bistro, was beautifully decorated for the Holidays! It is indeed a place to relax and sample some specialty drinks, gourmet desserts, and sandwiches. Including a variety of both savory and sweet ones called Wafflewiches!”
Rocky Zharp donned a red and white Santa suit for the evening, and parents took many photos of their children as they presented Santa with their wish lists. The authentic and jovial Santa Claus completed the visual of Christmas created for the children and their families. As the evening came to a conclusion baristas read Christmas stories including “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to a group of young listening ears on smiling faces. Attendee Judith McPherson summed it up this way:
“Last evening was the consummate hometown Christmas, family-oriented celebration! The focus of providing a multitude of activities for the children, WOW! My granddaughters were in another world of happiness. Got to give Santa (Rocky Zharp) their wish lists and take a photo, decorated gingerbread men, made tree ornaments, participated in story time, coloring, and had some great hot cocoa. “Chamber singers from Hemet High entertained the standing room only crowd with their medley of holiday music and were absolutely outstanding! The whole experience harkened back in time as if there was a Norman Rockwell aura around our wonderful town. We can hardly wait for another evening like this at Destination!”
Destination Coffee Shop is owned and operated by Yepremian family. Husband and wife Kikor and Patricia own and operate the bistro with their son Alexander and daughter-in-law Gio. They employ a great group of friendly staff that go over and above while serving their patrons. They host events such as these at least once a month including: “Tea Party Education & Etiquette,” numerous “Paint Parties,” in addition to the very successful Prohibition Gatsby Concert at The DVAC. Stay tuned for upcoming events and gatherings at the very successful and inviting cafe and eatery. https://www.facebook.com/DestinationCBB.