A sweet, new coffee bar from Providence, Rhode Island’s Bolt Coffee Company? Okay, we’re down. But wait, there’s more…it’s at the entrance of the famous Rhode Island School of Design Museum, with a bunch more square footage and food? And they’re stocking dope coffee from folks like Seattle’s Kuma Coffee Roasters? And the space was done as a design collab with a bunch of RISD grads?
We’re not just down, we’re super down. Let’s learn more!
As told to Sprudge by Mark Hundley of Bolt Coffee Company.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Bolt Coffee Company started in 2012 as a mobile cart. Owners Bryan Gibb and Todd Mackey had worked in the industry in different capacities prior to Bolt’s inception but saw this as a new way to get exceptional coffee into the hands of people in unconventional settings. Their goal has always been to make great coffee but more importantly to build long-lasting relationships with the communities that have embraced them. In 2013, they were approached by a design group based out of New York City that was building a boutique hotel in Providence, Rhode Island called The Dean Hotel. This was an opportunity to set up shop in a brick-and-mortar location where they have existed for the past two and a half years. This 60-square-foot space has been a huge part of not only Providence’s growing coffee culture but also the culture of the hotel.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We are doing another collaborative space for this location. It is going to be set in the entrance to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum. The whole space has been renovated to house the admissions area to the museum and the new coffee bar. We have a lot more space this time around so we are going to have a more dedicated food program that we are building from the ground up. There will be an adequate amount of indoor seating, with outdoor space as well.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Bolt is setting out to create and facilitate community around carefully and intentionally prepared coffee. We prioritize hospitality and aim to have service and experience be as memorable as the product. Bolt is a multi-roaster retailer that features two roasters at any given point cycling new roasters in every six months or so. There are a ton of great roasters out there that are taking roasting to another level, and we are excited to bring their products to the city of Providence. When selecting a roaster to work with we are seeking development and sweetness in a lighter roast profile and are super excited to open our second location featuring Kuma Coffee and Native Coffee Roasters.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We have two individual barista points set up that will each feature a white and wood paneled La Marzocco GS3 that will be separated by a Nuovo Simonelli Mythos grinder in between the two. For batch brewing, we will be using a FETCO CBS-2132XTS with the coffee being ground on a white Mahlkönig EKK 43 grinder. There will be some single-origin espressos being prepared through one side of the EKK and some dynamic filter options prepared through Clever drippers.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
The great thing about working with RISD Museum on this project is the wealth of talented alumni that the school has. Ben and Aja Blanc who both went to RISD are the designers of this space. The architect on this project is Ed Wojcik Architect, Ltd. Tables by Studio Dunn. Lights over bar by Jason Miller Studio.
What’s the address?
Photos courtesy of Mark Hundley.