A new cafe is in the works for Detroit’s North End neighborhood. Gathering Coffee Co. aims to open this summer in a street-facing space at the 2831 E Grand Blvd. film studios for Eightfold Collective.
Emily Steffen, former director of coffee and education at Bay City-based roaster Populace Coffee, is behind the project. Plans call for a cafe that’s closely integrated with the Eightfold Collective, which will soon have a community darkroom for developing film. “I just couldn’t think of any better way to serve people then to be able to integrate both the concept of art and coffee into one space,” Steffen tells Eater of her business.
The 2,500-square-foot space features approximately 25-foot ceilings. Gathering Coffee Co. plans to preserve the industrial feel of the space with both brick and white walls. Seating will be primarily around communal tables with some bar seating near the property’s large windows and a few leather couches. Steffen tapped Detroit-based artist Gisela McDaniel to create a mural that will be the focal point of the cafe. She also plans to display a rotating array of film portraits at the shop.
Steffen’s vision for the coffee shop is to make it a community hub for workshops, events, and dinners. “Working for different coffee companies all over, [I’ve had] the privilege to serve people and see really how coffee creates a culture, it creates an atmosphere, it creates change, and consistency for a lot of people,” she says. With that in mind, Steffen plans to engage the surrounding neighborhood to find out what it is that Gathering’s customers want or need in the shop. “I want to serve Detroit, but we are in the North End of New Center and it’s extremely important that we know the people that we’re serving and the neighborhood that we’re in,” she says.
Gathering Coffee Co. will be selling pour-overs, cold brew, and espresso drinks using Populace Coffee and housemade syrups. The shop will also feature a variety of teas including infusions of fresh fruit in hot water called aromaticas. Steffen plans to eventually source pastries from forthcoming West Village restaurant and bakery Poppies and will offer items like chickpea salad and avocado toast, too. As part of Steffen’s efforts to make her space welcoming to everyone, Gathering Coffee Co. intends to offer a small pay-what-you-can menu with approximately three items including hot chocolate and tea priced at-cost.
Gathering Coffee Co. is aiming to begin a build-out by April with a target opening of mid-to-late summer. Stay tuned for updates as the project moves forward.
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