Barista Parlor first opened its doors in Nashville in 2012, and the cafe’s particular brand of poly-roaster Americana maximalism has been grabbing attention and headlines in Nashville and beyond ever since. Now owner Andy Mumma, in partnership with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, is setting up to capitalize on that popularity with a massive new expansion into an old recording studio space called Golden Sound that will include a coffee bar, a kitchen, a bakery, and Barista Parlor’s own roasting operation.
Golden Sound is in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood, which Mr. Mumma described as “downtownish,” and close to Yazoo, one of Nashville’s best-loved breweries. The cafe that will take up two thirds of the 4,500 square foot space will keep the name Golden Sound, while the roasting operation, set to happen on a 25 kilo roaster from an as yet unnamed US company, will operate under the Barista Parlor brand.
Barista Parlor is famous for having one of the deepest menus of quality coffee roasters on offer at any multi-roaster shop (currently: Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, Four Barrel, Sightglass, Handsome, and Verve), and Mr. Mumma sees their roasting plans as a logical extension of that approach. He says they want to try build their roasting operation “very carefully,” without immediately offering a huge roster of different coffees all at once. Barista Parlor and Golden Sound will both continue to serve many different roasters, and Mr. Mumma says, “if we have one or two coffees [we roast ourselves] it’ll be perfect to slide into our rotation.”
The original Barista Parlor is also famous for its extensive arsenal of coffee equipment, and the Golden Sound expansion will be no slouch either. Andy Mumma is big on showing pride in craft, and the Golden Sound cafe will continue Barista Parlor’s theatre-in-the-round approach, with a 16ft long brew-bar anchoring the space, and glass garage doors and walls giving complete slight lines throughout the cafe and into the roastery. The brew bar will be rocking pretty much every brew device you can think of, from Hario v60s and Woodnecks to the Chemex and Eva Solo.
Driving all that brewing will be a collection of Baratza Forte grinders and two Uber hot water fonts hooked up to an under-counter Marco Ecoboiler system, along with a Mahlkönig EK43 grinder for cupping and coldbrew (served on tap and nitro-tap, of course). There will also be a CO2 charging station for charing their water and whatever “crazy drinks” they think up.
Mr. Mumma expects a lot of weekend volume, which will be met by two iPad point-of-sale and Slayer Espresso machine stations. The three-group Slayers are undergoing extensive customization work in both Seattle and Nashville, and will each be paired with three Mazzer Major E grinders. Mumma also wanted to put in two full espresso stations because he said, “we need a place to train and practice and train other folks who want to come in and learn”–especially important since next year they want to “try and really step it up on the competition side of things.”
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Barista Parlor project if it wasn’t also ambitiously gorgeous, and it sounds like Mr. Mumma is pulling out any remaining stops in that regard. He is big on the idea of combining art and commerce, trying to “make it almost feel like a huge installation.” Mumma designed the first Barista Parlor himself, but for Golden Sound he has partnered with Nick Dryden, an architect in Nashville, to work on the design and is bringing in local craftspeople “who are just bad-asses at what they do.” This includes friends like Holler Designs, known for sourcing local wood from small towns in rural Tennessee, and Isle of Printing‘s Bryce McCloud, the artist who created the impressively massive mural in Barista Parlor’s original space. From Isle of Printing, Mr. Mumma tells us to expect a “big piece” in the new Golden Sound roastery and a “huge piece” in the coffee bar itself.
In our many years of writing Sprudge, we know that opening day for any new project is a shifting, nebulous thing. Mr. Mumma says that “in a perfect world we would open in April,” but the brand will celebrate its second anniversary on May 12th, providing a solid target date for Golden Sound to open. It’s hard to believe that all this has happened in just two short years, and that Barista Parlor in Nashville–already among the world’s most maximalist multi-roasters–is only getting started.
The original Barista Parlor is at 519 Gallatin Ave, 7am–8pm on the weekdays and 8am–8pm on the weekends.
Photos courtesy of Ryan Green.