So on this eve of Christmas, I ask you, what (or where?) would Jesus drink? Perhaps HeBrews, a little cafe in a suburb of Memphis that’s a branch of ministry from a local Baptist church. A clever title, no doubt, and a quick check with Google reveals a common one, as well. HeBrews coffee joints and cafes dot the country from North Carolina to Oregon, though none appear to be affiliated with another. And most are identified as “ministries.”
It makes one wonder if this is the beverage of choice for Santa Claus; how else could he make those deliveries all night long? Perhaps Santa's cup of coffee that should last just one hour will last a full eight hours until he can get a refill. Barista Parlor just cannot compete with that.
Editor's note: Bites is taking tomorrow off, but we'll be back Wednesday. We wish you a holiday filled with wassail, goose, suet pudding, tamales, cookies you may or may not share with Santa, lobster, Italian seafood feasts, Hoppin' John, cabbage (both veggie and currency), Stove Top Stuffing, real stuffing with cornbread or oysters, mulled cider, eggnog (no, boiled custard), glögg and gløgg, gingerbread, pumpkin pie, mince pie, chess pie, apple pie, whoopie pie, chocolates wrapped in colorful foil, tangerines tucked in the toe of your stocking ... or whatever it is you love to eat and drink at this time of year.
The owners are seeking to re-create the feeling of the 1930s in their space, when Douglas Corner was the terminus of the mule trolley that brought people downtown from the outskirts of Nashville. The baristas will be dressed in black aprons and ties to add a little class to the joint, and the furnishings seek to be both comfortable and formal at the same time.
In a story that you couldn't make up, the two long communal tables are constructed from maple planks that were milled for a bowling alley in China during the middle of the century. They then became the lanes at Haywood Lanes, until that alley was torn down. Now they have been repurposed into a place for coffee lovers to share the great roasts at Roast. If only that wood could talk, it would probably say "我们在哪里?"
The new 8th and Roast will sell beans and grind to go, as well as offering a single-brew service. The "self-pour" station employs an old lunch counter that was part of the Commerce Street bus station back in the '70s. The vibe in this new coffee shop should be really interesting.
If you want to see it before it officially opens sometime in the next few weeks, drop in this afternoon, when they'll be cupping some of their various roasts and brewing methods for free tastings and to introduce themselves to the neighborhood. They'll also be selling bags of beans to go for that perfect cup to wash down the pumpkin pie after your Thanksgiving dinner next week.
Owned and operated by Louisa Green and her husband James, Headquarters fills a renovated storefront that James, a professional carpenter, has stylishly outfitted using reclaimed wood. Headquarters will serve coffee from local roaster Roast Inc., along with pastries.
Headquarters had a preview party on Friday, and Louisa Green says she expects to open sometime this week. (Saturday at the latest, she hopes.)
Louisa Green said she’ll be serving up a signature espresso drink spiked with chocolate and cayenne, and a similar sweet-and-spicy flavor profile can also be found in the house roast that Roast Inc. created specifically for Headquarters. In addition, you can look for teas and herbal infusions from another local company, High Garden.
The Greens will open their coffeehouse early in the morning to supply morning joe to folks heading down Charlotte to work. It will operate Monday through Saturday, and at least at first, it will close in late afternoon. Headquarters is at 4902 Charlotte Pike.
A version of this story appeared in my Food Biz column in this week's print edition of The City Paper and online in the Nashville Post.
Virball announced last week on the Jackalope blog that ZolliKoffee, owned by Belmont grad Zollie Wilson, will start brewing up joe in the back portion of the taproom. It will be open early so people can pick up their morning coffee on their way downtown to work.
The taproom’s beer hours are expected to expand as well, but Virball said that won’t be decided until after ZolliKoffee launches in December.
I asked Wilson for details on the food and coffee, and he emailed back: "Edibles will vary when first opening; [we'll be] testing different things to see what people are enjoying the most. I have a large collection of family favorite recipes and will be baking and cooking offsite with my mom and grandmother."
Jackalope is at 701 Eighth Ave. S.
Big news for local audiophiles, bookworms and coffee junkies: We've just confirmed via Grimey's co-proprietor Doyle "D-Funk" Davis that the oft-lauded record store plans on expanding into a second location two doors south on Eighth. They'll christen the spot Grimey's Too (see their logo above). Grimey's Too — an annex of sorts, as it won't be directly connected to the current Grimey's location — will feature a coffee bar run by a local coffee business, a "full-service indie bookstore" by the name of Howlin' Books (headed up by Jessica Kimbrough) and, as you might expect, more records.
Davis tells the Cream that all sales in Grimey's Too — books, records, all of it — will be "seamless," with "everything in one place." The new spot is two stories and roughly 6,000 square feet, with "almost a full acre" back lot for more parking and potentially even bigger music events. Davis also indicated that a handful of local vendors are interested in participating in regular food-truck food courts back there, and that there will be room for al fresco seating on a patio. Davis says they have some work to do readying the place, but they've already begun moving in, and hope to open later this year. Stay tuned, there are more plans and news to come.
And for those who recoiled at the Gray Lady's story last month, which cast East Nashville as a land of "hipsters," doing hipster things in hipsterrific ways with hipsterical results, it's worth noting this story never uses the word "hipster" once. But more to the point, it's actually written by a Nashvillian: veteran journalist, style guru and occasional Scene contributor Libby Callaway. (The much-maligned item was penned by the NYT bureau chief in Atlanta, Kim Severson.)
Whether or not you agree that using the word "hipster" is misguided, evil or just plain lazy — or stand with Jack Silverman in defending the occasional usage — it's nice to read Callaway's description of East Nashville, which I find a lot more informative and sensible in tone than some other stories that have popped up in national media. (Full disclosure: I used to work with Callaway years ago at the Tennessean and the erstwhile magazine All The Rage.)
And Callaway offers up an enticing news nugget: She says Barista Parlor's Andy Mumma is working to open a new venue with a famous partner:
There are several reasons to stop by the just-opened fancy-pants coffee shop Barista Parlor (including but not limited to Mast Brothers chocolate, mugs that are the exact perfect size and weight, fantastic light fixtures, and of course, really great coffee), but if you're anything like me, you'll probably make a bee-line to the mural on the shop's back wall, inspect it from close up, gawk at the craftmanship, then back up and gawk at the artfulness of its presentation. It's the latest creation of Nashville printmaker Bryce McCloud, who runs Isle of Printing (for more on that, read this).
Roast Inc., the family-owned coffee roasting company on Trousdale Lane in the Crieve Hall neighborhood, has closed the retail coffeehouse side of the operation to concentrate on catering and wholesale. At the same time, the company is introducing a unique new local product: cold-brewed coffee in a bottle, which will be sold at Whole Foods and three local farmers’ markets.
Lesa and Brad Wood opened the cafe in 2010 to showcase their beans, which Brad purchases from “microlots” produced by single small estates in Central and South America, Indonesia and Africa. Lesa handles the craft of roasting, and she’s the one who ran the coffeehouse, specializing in brewing by the cup using artisan methods. (The coffeehouse celebrated its one-year anniversary with a renovation that made it an even nicer spot to sip a well-sourced, well-roasted coffee brewed by the cup.)
But the success of the wholesale and catering side of the business far outpaced the retail, Lesa told me. For one thing, Roast Inc. secured a deal in late 2011 to supply coffee beans to both local Whole Foods stores. To accommodate the demand, Lesa opened a separate roasting facility in February, a few doors down from the cafe in the same strip on Trousdale.
A couple weeks ago, Wood simply shut down the coffeehouse so she could concentrate on the other aspects of the business, working out of the roastery alone. The lease on the store space was up, she says, and the neighborhood is a bit too isolated to generate the retail traffic to support a coffeehouse.
“But we didn’t want to leave the Crieve Hall customers high and dry,” she says. So every Friday from noon to 5 p.m. she and a barista open up the roasting facility to customers so people can sip free samples of the different coffees and buy beans.
And now, customers can also pick up chilled bottles of Roast Inc. Cold-Filtered Coffee. She said it comes in two varieties: black coffee and a Vietnamese-style version made with sweetened milk. The bottled coffee will soon be sold at Whole Foods, too.
The roastery is at 4825 Trousdale Drive, suite 218. Roast Inc. also sells at the 12South Farmers Market (3:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays), the East Nashville Farmers’ Market (3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays) and the Franklin Farmers Market (8 to 1 p.m. Saturdays).
Perhaps some explanation is in order, from founder Rob Touchstone's blog, Between the Trees:
We want to take the money you spend on coffee and give that money to feeding and providing clean drinking water to the poorest people in the world. This is about sharing “Living Water” in the name of Jesus? Will we eliminate world poverty? No. But we WILL make a difference. One cup of coffee and one individual at a time.
We will be a business that exists for one purpose. Kingdom business. As a non-profit we will exist for the sole purpose of giving money away in order to change the world.
Sure. You could fill your cup down the road and help turn millionaires into billionaires. Or you can fill your cup at The Well and give people an opportunity to live today because you helped fill theirs.
In brief, The Well will sell coffee to buy water for some of the hundreds of millions of people who don't have access to clean water.
They have selected a coffee with a virtuous profile (but I was secretly hoping for Humphreys Street coffee, and their missions to do good would mesh so nicely). OK, I'm on board with an indie coffeehouse in Green Hills.
I ordered a soy cappuccino which, I swear, tasted actually like it was made with the highest-quality actual milk. (Bravo!) Starbucks, which has only vanilla-flavored soy milk, always makes my coffee taste like tofu. One of my companions ordered an iced coffee that was beyond excellent, a strong concentrated beverage that wasn’t watered down with ice but had enough body to stand on its own as a well-crafted drink.
My other companion ordered what I have only seen offered in Florence, Italy, and have been searching for ever since: a Shakerato. Although a traditional caffe shakerato does not have dairy in it, as Dose’s version did, the full-bodied flavor of high-quality espresso shaken over ice was well-executed. I almost thought I was back in Firenze. The only thing missing was the martini glass it is usually served in.
Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a…
To Chris's point, $1 on a $15 tab is 7%. That is not insignificant.
1. Lockeland Table
4. Kien Giang
5. Jim & Nick's
Come down and see us Nashville. We have a real cool summer treat for you.