Build Outs Of Summer: Counter Culture Training Center, Boston

Summer is a GREAT time to put in all the schmuck work that goes into opening a new cafe. The long Home Depot days, the late paint fume nights, the quirky contractors, the hold-ups, the reclaimed lumber swap meets…it’s a joyful mess, and we love it. All summer long we’ll be featuring build outs and sneak peaks from fab new cafes around the world.

Our panoramic bird’s-eye view of the international specialty coffee zeitgeist soldiers on, dropping us off this time on the doorstep of Counter Culture Coffee’s brand new training center in the Union Square neighborhood of Somerville, Massachussetts. This will be Counter Culture’s 7th TC location (if you’re counting on your fingers, the Philadelphia Training Center should be up and running soon), and while not a cafe per se, expect CCC Boston to be armed with gear and coffee aplenty when it’s slated to open in September.

We spoke to Counter Culture’s very own Jesse Kahn, a native New Englander who has spent the last few months wrist-deep in hustle on this Boston space. As per Mr. Kahn, and paraphrased by us, Bostonians can expect a full schedule of events and an announcement for a grand opening event in the near future, kicking off some time in September. Counter Culture’s Boston space will host the usual spate of weekly cuppings and educational opportunities endemic to the Counter Culture TC model, and chances are (we’re guessing / hoping) that you’ll be able to check out some sweet worms while you’re there.


Mr. Kahn made it quite clear to us that the Union Square area of Somerville is “poppin’!” with readily available social and gustatory diversions including Journeyman (fancy pants tasting menu only), Backbar (cocktail bar, serves entire “lobe” of Foie Gras for $100), the Sherman Market and its cafe (serving Batdorf and Bronson and “well above average sandwiches”), and the nearby “Peruvian chicken joint”, of which Mr. Kahn is a “pretty big fan”. There’s also a cool brewery in the neighborhood (Pretty Things); Direct Trade chocolatiers Taza Chocolate make their home nearby; and big weekly specialty food and farmers market events take over the area, hosted by Union Square Main Streets.

Counter Culture Boston will run with a permanent staff of two. Mr. Kahn was tight-lipped about what exactly they’ve got planned for the space’s design and features, offering us only a few precious details: the TC’s counter tops will be made “from salvaged wood from a 19th century mill in PA,” the space’s cupping table will be “custom poured concrete table made by a local artist”, and the building itself features a striking original Shepard Fairey mural on one of its exterior walls.  More details will be available shortly, as the space nears its projected September opening date. In the meantime, watch Counter Culture’s official listing for their Boston space for news and updates.