For years, the Portsmouth Convention & Visitors Bureau operated The Kiosk as a seasonal information booth. In 2004, the building changed hands but the original purpose remained. That tradition of serving visitors continues.
Eight years ago, David and Betsy Cartier developed the building into a popular destination that has become synonymous with Portsmouth's waterfront gateway at High Street Landing. Starboards combines an outdoor coffee bistro café with tourist-related services. Visitor information and services include local maps, visitor guides, brochures and restaurant menus and referrals.
The seasonal information booth was operated by the Portsmouth Convention & Visitors Bureau until 2004.
While our name Starboards is a nautical term, it was derived from two significant Portsmouth landmarks. Located on the actual site of the former local newspaper, The Portsmouth Star, Starboards Coffee Kiosk is also located directly across from the old 1894 Seaboard Air Line Railroad passenger terminal at High Street Landing. Today, the building is known today as 'One High Street' with its distinctive round facade.
Why Seattle's Best Coffee?
When the Coffee Kiosk opened in 2004, Starboards wanted to find the best coffee for Olde Towne. Through our research, we discovered the best coffee came from Seattle.
The Cartiers developed the kiosk into a popular gathering place that combines a coffee kiosk and visitor services.
What's in a Name?
As a tribute the the area's maritime heritage, the exterior service counters at Starboards were constructed from the same lumber used to build the Pilot Schooner Virginia.
Years ago, The Kiosk was where the Portsmouth news was written and printed. Today, Starboards Coffee Kiosk has become a popular place where locals and visitors gather to talk about the news and daily events. Maybe that's why...Eventually, Everybody Lands at Starboards.
Shown above: The Portsmouth Star (left) and the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Terminal at One High Street (right).
Often referred to as 'Portsmouth's Ambassador' of the waterfront, Proprietor Betsy Cartier has over 35 years experience in the hospitality industry.
Locally owned and operated, Starboards Coffee Kiosk has become a well-known destination throughout Hampton Roads as a gathering spot for locals, visitors and boaters alike.
Portsmouth has a long history of railroads and trains. In fact, The Portsmouth Star Building also housed some Seaboard offices.
Today, the renovated cottage-style kiosk complements the historic Olde Towne neighborhood with clapboards, shutters and a nautical theme. The nautical décor including buoys, a brass sailboat weathervane and a vintage ship’s grate used as a table were provided by Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery of Olde Towne Portsmouth.
Today, the coffee revolution has spread across America and now good coffee is fashionable everywhere.
From the waterfront in Seattle to the Portsmouth waterfront, Starboards Coffee Kiosk is proud to be the first to introduce Seattle’s Best Coffee to the Olde Towne neighborhood.
Schooner Virginia is a re-creation of its namesake vessel, which was the last pure sailing vessel used by the Virginia Pilot Association. That vessel was in service from 1917 to 1926 on The Chesapeake Bay. Almost entirely handmade, Virginia is the first tall ship built on the Norfolk waterfront in nearly 80 years. After nearly two-and-a-half years under construction, the vessel was launched and christened on
December 10, 2004.
And Seattle's Best Coffee had a part in getting it started. There are many great coffees roasted in Seattle, but only one offers the bold flavor and smooth taste that is Seattle's Best.
Now you can check out Starboards Coffee Kiosk from your home or office using our 360 degree panos. It will give you an idea of what sunrise looks like with a panoramic view at Starboards Coffee Kiosk just before we open each morning. Just use the navigation buttons below to move completely around Starboards Coffee Kiosk at High Street Landing and even magnify or minimize the view.
It's the next best thing to being here for those that can't make it when we open at 6 a.m.!
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Take a Virtual Tour of Starboards
"Top 10 Local Coffee Shops in Hampton Roads"
360 degree panos photographed and designed by photographer
Allen B. Graves.
"The coffee is fabulous, the view spectacular. Friendly locals who love to share information about their town and welcome visitors with open arms".
- Foodsnob704, TripAdvisor.com
"In the days before air travel, the term "air line" referred to a straight line drawn through the air (or on a map), ignoring natural obstacles. The Cartiers went a step further in honoring history by using the same lumber used to build the schooner Virginia for their exterior shelving."
- The Virginian-Pilot
2012 Gold Winner Starboards Coffee Kiosk
Reader's Choice Award
"Best Coffee House"
"Best Locals' Hangout"
Eventually, Everybody Lands at Starboards.