We’ve passed the All-Star Break here in Sprudge.com’s third annual edition of the Build-Outs of Summer, our roving global series that features new cafes in the process of opening up shop. Big cities, little towns, bicycle cafes, green importer tasting rooms, doughnut shops, multiple airstream trailers…you name a service concept, and we’ve probably featured it as a Build-Out.
But for the first time ever, we’re highlighting the same company for a second time. ReAnimator Coffee in Philadelphia was profiled back in July 2013 for their then-new coffee bar in Philadelphia’s eminently cool Fishtown neighborhood. A few months later Sprudge Associate Editor Liz Clayton checked back in on the doings at ReAnimator, and spoke of the cafe’s interior, coffee offerings, and taste in music (see: Yo La Tengo). And here we are in the bristling, unmerciful heat of another Build-Outs season, when lo and behold who but ReAnimator should ReAppear on our radar.
This time they’re building out a new production facility and cafe space to help manage growth and success in the coming years. The new space will house green coffee inventory, a training lab, and a 12 kilo Probat coffee roaster. It’s all going in to a neighborhood that’s not quite Fishtown proper, but just a few blocks off the main thoroughfare of Girard, in the warehouse wonderland of Kensington. Opening day is just around the corner, so quick, let’s look in!
As told to Sprudge by Mark Corpus.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
Our new space is our second retail location in Philadelphia, and in addition to a cafe, it will house our production and offices as well as a full training lab for employees and wholesale customers. The space is in a converted factory, and we made it a priority to maintain a lot of the natural industrial feel and aesthetic. When we were in the planning phase, we were a little concerned about packing everything we wanted into the space. Now that we’re 90% finished, it’s clear how airy and spacious it is, and we’re really glad we went for everything this time around. We have wanted to open a production/cafe space from the very beginning of ReAnimator, so this has really been a dream realized for us. Having a proper training lab is also really important for us, so we can focus on our quality control, train our staff, and truly work as a full-service roaster for our wholesale customers. We believe this is going to be a really unique cafe experience for people in Philadelphia, and we’re excited to show it off.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our main focus is to curate a seasonally rotating menu of single origin coffees, but we also maintain a line up of perennial and seasonal blends. When sourcing and roasting, our goal is to offer coffees with refreshing acidity, cleanliness, and sweetness.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
The new cafe will have a two-group Synesso Sabre and the lab will have a single group (the second volumetric single group Synesso has ever made). The cafe and lab will be equipped with Mahlkönig grinders, with a K30 and K30 Twin for espresso as well as an EKK43 for batch brew and pour-over. We’ll serve batch brew out of a Fetco that we have mounted under the counter, and will use a Fetco 2105-TOD for hot water to be used in brewing pour over coffee and tea. The pour over area will have a large, stainless steel bar top drain. The lab will have a K30 twin as well as a Fetco HWB-5 for cupping and training needs. Our Probat Probatone 12 Roaster is installed in the back of the space, and right next to it will be our single-barrel Probat PRG-1Z sample roaster.
What’s your hopeful target opening month?
We are shooting to open in early August. Hopefully the first or second week for a soft opening. You’re invited to the opening party in September.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We’ve got to give a huge thank you to our landlord and the developer of the space, Paul Maiello and his crew of metalworkers, woodworkers, electricians, plumbers and painters. They’ve all done an amazing job on the space. We’ve nearly driven Paul to the edge of sanity with last minute design changes and crazy “what if” ideas, but he’s been really great to work with and has shared our vision of the space from the beginning. Thanks again, Paul.