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CSBG Archive

When We First Met – Notable Comic Book Hangouts!

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ‘em out!

Today we look at the first appearances of three comic book hangouts – Pop Tate’s Soda Shoppe, the Coffee Bean (where Peter Parker hung out with Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn and Flash Thompson) and Harry’s Hideaway (where the X-Men go to get away from the school).


Honestly, I can’t tell you when Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe got its name. However, specific name of the shop aside, we met Pop Tate and his Soda Shoppe in Pep Comics #46, as Archie finds a $50 check from his grandmother that he was going to use to buy expensive presents for his friends is dwindling rapidly. A local girl, known for being a gab, found Archie’s list of presents he was going to buy for his friends and he wants to keep her quiet (especially since he no longer can afford the items he wrote on the list). So he bribes her with a trip to Pop Tate’s…

Pop Tate looked a whole lot different back then. Anyone know when the store was re-named the Chocklit Shoppe?

Next, we see the coffee bar where Peter Parker and his friends hung out when Peter was in college.

In Amazing Spider-Man #44, we see the gang at the Silver Spoon.

They continue hanging out at the Silver Spoon, even throwing a farewell party for Flash when he went into the army for the Vietnam War.

In Amazing Spider-Man #53, though, they are all hanging out at the Coffee Bean…

While the behind-the-scenes answer is almost certainly that Stan Lee did not recall what the name of the coffee bar the kids went to was named (and likely when John Romita came up with a neat sign for the Coffee Bean, that name stuck), I wonder what the in-story answer is? Did the place change its name? Or did all of the kids just decide to start hanging out at another place? Why haven’t we seen the Untold Story of why the gang moved from the Silver Spoon to the Coffee Bean?!!? Dan Slott, how have you not told this story yet?!?!

Harry’s Hideaway is a surprisingly recent invention, showing up in late 1984 in the pages of New Mutants #23…

Chris Claremont rightly noted that there was not an established hangout for the X-Men and New Mutant kids. In the early days. they’d just go into New York City, but that does not really make sense. It makes more sense that they’d find a local hangout. Enter Harry’s Hideaway!

Jason Aaron recently did a great bit in an issue of Wolverine where Harry’s Hideaway is almost going out of business until Wolverine brings the X-Men back to Salem Center.

Feel free to send in ideas for other debuts that you’re curious about! Send your ideas to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


And now the Coffee Bean is a huge chain all across the west coast. Take that Silver Spoon!

My fan-wank answer: The Silver Spoon had to refinance after Kraven trashed the place trying to kidnap Harry Osborn in ASM #47, and was renamed The Coffee Bean (sometimes given as the Coffee Bean Barn) during the remodeling/revamping.

Was Iceman and Beast’s hangout where Benard the Poet performed ever named?

That’d be the Coffee-A-Go-Go, Dan.

I wonder what the in-story answer is? Did the place change its name? Or did all of the kids just decide to start hanging out at another place? Why haven’t we seen the Untold Story of why the gang moved from the Silver Spoon to the Coffee Bean?!!?

Personally, I’ve always found it a bit weird that in fiction everyone seems to have just one favourite café/pub/bar/whatever, where they always hang. I can understand doing that in TV series like Fraser or Friends, where the amount of sets you can use is limited buy budget, but obviously that isn’t the case with comics. In real life many people have two or more favourite joints, maybe that was the case with Peter’s gang too?

“I could know nothing and still be smarter than you, big mouth.”

I like the way Parker is never as funny as a civilian as when he’s Spider-Man.

@Brian Mac- That’s right. Thanks!

nice picks always wondered when the x-men first started hanging out at harry’s hide way for even super heroes even like the x-men need a place to blow off steam and relax and forgot about the silver spoon in spider man. plus for a moment there in that first archie panel thought that was mr. lodge instead of pops.

I was hoping that Avalanche’s bar in San Francisco would be used as a hang out, but the X-writers really haven’t followed up on that plot point.

Wasn’t the Coffee Bean Cafe name-checked in X-Factor #1, where Cyclops complains that it’s now been turned into a New Wave Sushi Bar?

Tuomas: I agree with you to a point. The size of the city/town you live in certainly makes a difference. For instance, Peter Parker and his friends having one coffee place that they hang out at in all of New York City is pretty weird, but the X-Men having one hang-out in the (assumedly much, much smaller) Salem Center is not that strange.

Speaking from personal experience, I grew up in a small city, and as teenagers we would generally just have one hangout spot at a time (that changed occasionally). Now I live in an even smaller town, with just one coffee shop I frequent, but I live 20 minutes from a major city. When I drive out to the city to hang out with my friends who live there, we cycle between dozens of coffee shops, bars, late-night restaurants, etc.

Archie should have done what the sign suggested, and invested that $50 in war bonds. The government might have been able to afford bulletproof glass for the observation window at Professor Erskine’s super-soldier lab! :)

Amusingly, a quarter of Archie’s check DID, in fact, go to war bonds.

Let me shout out the love for the Dark Side, a villain hangout in Giffen/De Matteis JL*, where (if memory serves) Wally Tortolini won a bunch of super-villain weapons in a poker game.

Any one know the artist on those X-men pages?

Travis Pelkie

May 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Bloppo, that’s Bill Sienkiewicz art on those New Mutants pages.

Didn’t the Classic X-Men series, in the new stories, feature Harry’s Hideaway?

What I wanna know is who did that Archie art? It looks vaguely like Wally Wood, but I don’t think it’s him.

Didn’t the Classic X-Men series, in the new stories, feature Harry’s Hideaway?

It did. They were over a year after this issue of New Mutants, but they did feature Harry’s Hideaway.

Travis Pelkie

May 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Woohoo, I remembered something! But yeah, those stories I thought of right away, so I was a bit surprised to see that Harry’s wasn’t appearing until ’84. Pretty neat Claremont “retcon”.

What I wanna know is who did that Archie art? It looks vaguely like Wally Wood, but I don’t think it’s him.

I believe it is Montana.

Travis Pelkie

May 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm

And I just looked up that Pep issue on GCD. Harry Sahle, inked by Virginia Drury. Huh, don’t know if I know about those creators.

Also in that Pep issue was an “animal facts” feature called “I’m Jim Crow, Hello!” Awk-ward!

Travis Pelkie

May 21, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Oh, I just posted while you were, Brian. Here’s the GCD listing, which says it’s not Montana (yippe ai yo ki yay!).


Hmm, who to believe? :)

Yeah, you’re right. It didn’t look like Montana, but I thought he was still doing Pep Comics then. I guess he had moved on to Archie Comics by then.

Travis, Thanks!!! Now that you said Sienkiewicz, it’s painfully obvious.


May 24, 2012 at 9:39 am

ok so first thing I noticed was the name of the doctor in the last panel of the Archie one. I Kuppem. As in I cup em and then you turn your head and cough?

Terrific piece. I love recurring hangouts. They help ground the supporting cast.

A minor addition:
Silver Spoon was first mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man #42. We don’t see it until issue 44, but Harry and Gwen mention that’s where they’re going in issue 42.

Touch-and-go Bullethead

May 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm

AverageJoyEveryman: “Cuppem” in this context almost certainly refers to the archaic practice of cupping, i.e., creating a vacuum within a cup by burning the air inside it, then placing the cup over a part of the body so that a blister will form. The blister is then burst and, supposedly, “bad blood” is drawn out. The implication is that Dr. Cuppem is an old-fashioned guy whose treatments will likely do as much harm as good.

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