Build-Outs of Summer! Build-Outs of Summer! They keep on rolling in, coming fast and furious in the summer heat, taunting our readers in the Southern Hemisphere with the promise of long hours, new shops, and plenty of sunshine. So far in the series we’ve visited Omaha, Nebraksa and the new Beansmith Coffee “Lobby” cafe set to open shortly; we’ve been to Hong Kong and checked out the 2nd locale of The Cupping Room; we’ve seen the Golden Gate in San Francisco Bay, home to the soon-to-open third location of Coffee Bar SF; and we’ve had a custard and some good pizza in St. Louis, alongside Blueprint Coffee. At the risk of sounding like a Lee Hazlewood song, we move around.
Today it’s Dallas, Texas, where the folks at Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters have spent much of the last two years converting a 1940’s autobody shop into a beautiful new cafe space. It’s all happening just down the road from the Bishop Arts District, a happening little rabbit warren of shops and cafes that we think is one of the funnest neighborhoods in all of Texas. Dallas is actually really cool, and there’s great coffee already in this town, with a noticeable Cuvee Coffee presence from Austin, plus locals like Cultivar Coffee. Oak Cliff has been around for a few years as well, but this new cafe will be their first real “show off” space, with publicly visible roasting and cafe service.
As told to Sprudge by Shannon Neffendorf.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
This is our first place that we can really call home. Over 4 years in the making… We spent two years in search of real estate and the past 2.5 years in designing and renovating (from below the ground up!) a location that had formerly been operating as an auto body shop for the last sixty years. It’s primarily our roastery that will support our wholesale business but we will also have a 1300 sq ft cafe, that’s visually open to the roasting. The only thing remaining from the buildings prior life are the cinderblock and brick walls and a few remnants we were able to repurpose.
What’s your approach to serving coffee?
Our approach definitely leans toward the romantic… We want everything about the shop to enhance the café experience. So we have carefully chosen and in some cases imported the brewing equipment ourselves, and everything will be served in glass or ceramic (no disposable cups or plastic). We’ll have a selective menu that’s designed to display the quality of the product produced by the coffee farmers. Over the last 5 years we’ve built up a very loyal following of customers through our milkman-style coffee deliveries and we want this place to be a physical (not virtual!) connecting point for our friends in our neighborhood.
And for fun, we’ve incorporated coffee brewing devices into much of the design of the shop as well (see below).
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
Yes, we imported two espresso machines for the bar, a 3 group spring-lever Bosco from Naples, with PID display – this is the first time Bosco has ever added PID to one of their lever machines. We’ll also have a 2-group Kees van der Westen Spirit. Also, we have a brand-spanking new 4 crucible Alpha Dominiche Steampunk for our brewed coffees. We will have some pretty spectacular coffees lined up once we open, too, including the Ethiopia Nekisse from NinetyPlus and a Geisha variety coffee from Tito Vargas of La Milagrosa, Panama.
What’s your hopeful target opening month? What’s the shop’s address?
Early August, and we’re located at 819 West Davis Street, Dallas, TX 75208.