Onyx Coffee Lab has made quite a name for themselves in the specialty coffee industry. They have won a handful of US Coffee Championships titles across disciplines, their coffee can be found around the globe, and their gobsmacking Northwest Arkansas cafes are some of the most ambitious in the United States. And now, the team at Onyx is turning their sights to another artisanal product—chocolate—with the announcement of their first “chocolate-focused concept” in downtown Springdale.
This is not Onyx’s first foray into the chocolate arts. Under the name Terroir, the brand has been creating bean-to-bar chocolate, often blended with coffee, since 2016. But their newest retail location will take that relationship to the next level. As reported by Talk Business, the new concept will be inside the former First Security Bank complex that is in the process of $3 million redevelopment to house restaurants, retail outlets, offices, and residential housing. Onyx will take up roughly 6,000 square feet of that, over the course of three floors.
Construction on the new location is expected to begin September 1st, and while it will have the sort of high end coffee program folks have come to expect from Onyx—as well as modern cafe accoutrements like pastries, breakfast and lunch, house-made ice cream, and a selection of natural wine—the focus of the new concept will be on chocolate. The cafe will take a similar educational approach to chocolate that specialty cafes have had with coffee. Per Talk Business, “the bean-to-bar production facility will be open to customers inside the cafe to learn more about roasting cacao and the craft and art of developing single-origin chocolates worldwide.”
“We’ve spent two years planning this concept and working with ownership to create a truly one-of-a-kind cafe,” Jon Allen said. “There’s a lot of momentum with restaurants and business openings, expansions to the [Razorback Regional] Greenway and constant improvements to our community. It’s been fun to watch Emma transform into something neither of us ever dreamed of. We’re thrilled to get to be a part of it.”
It’s a bit of a triumphant return for the Allens, who opened their first Onyx cafe in Springdale 11 years ago not but five miles from where the new cafe will be. This will be their fifth cafe in the Northwest Arkansas area.