It's often been said, perhaps with a wink, that food is the future of coffee—that by getting more high-quality coffee in front of diners in restaurant settings, and by introducing fine food into cafe environments, the continued growth of specialty coffee culture will be in safe hands.
There's no easy roadmap to making this happen, but one thing we've seen work around the world, and especially in Australia, is a deceptively simple concept: if a coffee company owns a restaurant, that restaurant will have good coffee. That's the story behind Res Ipsa, a new cafe / restaurant hybrid from the folks at ReAnimator Coffee in Philadelphia, who've teamed up with well-regarded Philly chef Tyler Akin. The spot opens this October.
As told to Sprudge by Mark Corpus of ReAnimator Coffee.
For those who aren't familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Res Ipsa is a new joint venture between Philadelphia-based specialty coffee roaster ReAnimator Coffee and Chef Tyler Akin of Stock. It will be a cafe during the day with coffee operations being managed by ReAnimator and cafe fare managed by Tyler. During the evening, the space will change over to a full-service restaurant that also happens to serve excellent coffee (a rarity unfortunately).
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
The space is on the first floor of the Roosevelt Apartments at 23rd and Walnut in the Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia. The space that we took over is around 1,000 square feet and was previously the home of a large kitchen for a now defunct adjacent restaurant.
What's your approach to coffee?
We are striving to create a coffee/food destination that delivers on all fronts. The coffee program will be run like it were another ReAnimator Coffee location; high-quality coffee beverages and high-quality service. The menu will consist of single-origin coffees roasted by ReAnimator Coffee as well as seasonal blends crafted just for Res Ipsa. It is our intention to create a much deeper cafe experience by not only controlling the coffee menu, but also the pastries, sandwiches and salads, and how they pair with the coffee and the on-the-go lifestyle of our customers.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
What's your hopeful target opening date/month?
We are hoping to open in October.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you'd like to mention?
We have teamed up with Paul Maiello again who worked on the build-out of our 310 West Master Street roastery and cafe in Kensington. Paul is building long, ergonomic benches from white oak and is also building all of our cabinets and shelves. Paul continues to be our go-to for this type of work because of his skill, attention to detail, and aesthetic sensibilities. He takes great pride in his work and we appreciate that.
Photos courtesy of Mark Corpus.