Coffee & (___) [read: Coffee and Blank], a once Revolve DEGC pop-up and D:hive BUILD graduate, has become a mainstay in the Jeff-Chalmers retail strip. Inside, owner Angela Foster bakes a smorgasbord each day–insert one of those into the (___) and you have that day’s name for the business. Today is Coffee & Dark Chocolate Vanilla Almond Cake. It’s not always dessert–although I do have a special dance for when it’s Coffee & Key Lime Pie. Angela has served me some amazing quiche and egg strata. I just scarfed down that chocolate vanilla cake and am already hungry again. I should move on to the look of the place. As soon as you walk in, a large painting of RUN-D.M.C. grabs your attention (hands-off, it’s mine!) (can anyone buy it for me? please). Accompanying the RUN painting is an assortment of photos, paintings, and a mural collage (the former two types of art are for sale). As a detail-oriented person, I am mighty appreciative of the fresh flowers on the tabletops. Coffee & (___) was decorated on a pop-up budget, but it looks more like someone really wanted to have a shop where she could share good coffee and baked goods with the folks of Jeff-Chalmers–and Angela accomplished just that. Even the concrete floors are cozy. Brooklyn be jealous.
While Coffee & Blank is Deep East, it’s easy to get to for Detroiters and those in the eastern suburbs. I recommend taking the Chalmers exit on 94 or Jefferson. Both are scenic routes. Even better, bike there. If you lack a bicycle, as I did until recently, Hello Again, recently opened up next door as a record store in the vein of Corktown’s Hello Records. In addition to the swell inventory of records, Hello Again is also carrying a small but purposeful collection of road bikes and cruisers. My best friend just purchased my birthday gift there in the form of a gleaming, kelly green 1975 Schwinn Suburban.
Coffee & (___) also works well as an event space. In June, the East Jefferson SOUP organization had its inaugural, quarterly micro-granting dinner at the cafe. The coffee shop is also a good place to find out about events in the area, or info on local CSA’s.