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New Coffee Shop Settles in on the Avenue of Fashion

Narrow Way Cafe opens on Wednesday

coffee Courtesy of David Merritt
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

A new coffee shop, Narrow Way Cafe, is poised to arrive on the Avenue of Fashion on Wednesday at 19331 Livernois Ave. offering Zingerman’s coffee, smoothies, and baked goods from Avalon International Breads.

Narrow Way Cafe is a project originally developed through the Straight Gate International Church near Prairie Street and Grand River. Co-founder David Merritt tells Eater that the church renovated its bookstore last year and opened a coffee shop in April. The venue quickly became a hit amongst the congregation — especially the smoothies — David says. Working with his brother Jonathan Merritt and father, Bishop Andrew Merritt, David began looking for ways to bring the cafe experience to a larger audience.

The Merritts were drawn to the history and activity happening in the Livernois corridor and eventually secured a space next to Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles. Renovations of the 1,200-square-foot space were partially funded with a $45,000 grant from the city’s small business program, Motor City Match.


The 30-seat coffee shop features a sleek, modern interior with a long counter, floor-to-ceiling white subway tile, and leather upholstered banquette seating. A garage door has been fitted into the windows overlooking Livernois complete with a wooden bar designed with help from Christian Birky of Lazlo (a design studio operating out of Ponyride) that folds out for additional outdoor seating.

The owners have worked extensively with Zingerman’s to come up with a signature blend of coffee for the Livernois shop. “We’ll be introducing four different blends to start and honing in on a specific blend over the next few weeks,” David says. Once the exact beans are selected, Narrow Way will offer them for sale through the shop.

On the menu, customers can expect to see a range of coffee and espresso drinks including lattes, cortados, macchiatos, and mochas. Most of the beverages are available iced and the cafe also serves blended “freezes” in flavors like almond joy. Narrow Way is still experimenting with flavors, too. One recent addition, the turmeric ginger chai, was a particular hit during a recent tasting, David says. As for the much-touted smoothies, they range from traditional fruit combinations like strawberry mango to peach ring and chocolate covered strawberry.

Narrow Way Cafe opens on July 19 at 19331 Livernois Ave.; the cafe will open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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