Naming your brand new coffee company can be difficult. Intelligentsia, Máquina, Cognoscenti—it seems like all the good words are taken. And then sometimes the answer just flies right over your head. Such is the case for Umbra Coffee, Gallatin, Tennessee’s newest coffee spot. Named after the shadow cast during a total eclipse (a solar one will uncoincidentally engulf Gallatin in darkness next month), Umbra is itself looking to cast a long shadow over coffee drinkers in the small Tennessee town.
To do this, Umbra will be putting up stakes in a nigh 100-year-old historic building in the downtown Gallatin Square. But the build out is anything but antiquated. Wide open spaces, leather chairs, and a Nuova Simonelli White Eagle—this modern beauty is not the sort of coffee shop you normally see in acity with a population of 30,000 (or 3,000,000 for that matter). Yet here it is, Umbra Coffee, in the heart of Gallatin, shining a light in the coffee darkness.
As told to Sprudge by Darren Reynolds.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Umbra Coffee is brand new company. Gallatin is the closest city in Tennessee to the center of the 2017 eclipse, (Nashville is the largest city in the US in the path of totality) so we will literally be born in the shadow of the eclipse—the umbra—opening a month before 2 million people descend upon Middle Tennessee for the event.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We will occupy the lobby of a gorgeous renovated historic building in the middle of the square in downtown Gallatin—30 minutes north of Nashville—at 106 Public Square. The space has been painstakingly redone and features modern and classic decor, with elegant finishes and black leather furniture. We plan to install a custom lighting fixture in the center of the space, modeling the effect of a total solar eclipse, along with some other special lighting and artistic touches.
What’s your approach to coffee?
The definition of Umbra speaks to being in the right place at the right time—we really want you to feel that way! To accomplish this, our approach is to keep it simple and focus on superb espresso preparation with a limited menu and select in-house flavor options, a meticulously dialed-in batch brewing setup, hand-pour by request (during slower times of day), all with an engaging and extremely professional level of service. Think high-end cocktail espresso bar.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We plan to do a soft open on July 15th with our Grand Opening on August 19th, 2 days before the eclipse.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
Oak Tree Partners did an amazing job with the renovation, and our space is an inspiring canvas indeed!
You’re incredibly welcome!