by Jerry Morgan
So while out finalizing my Holiday shopping, I decided to warm up with a cup of coffee. I stopped into Black Crown Coffee Co. at 4024 E. Speedway, formerly The Safehouse Espresso Bar. I visited “The Safehouse” once or twice when it was under that name. Back then it was dirty, smoky, and scary! Black Crown Coffee Co. on the other hand is clean and inviting. The decorum I would describe as “urban barnyard” with chicken wire around the staircase and barn red pain on the paneling. Also knowing that this place has an almost cult like following that volunteered many hours to do the refurbishing work (as mentioned here) makes it even more welcoming. There was a noticeable influx of regulars while I sat there for sure, greeting everyone and knowing each other by name. Also local artist’s work is given wall space, which is another thing that I found endearing.
The coffee was good. I can’t say it blew me away, but in all honesty, it takes a lot to do so. My disappointment was the service. I asked the barista where his beans came from, (I like to know such things, I’m a nerd like that) and he gave me a look of apathy and pointed a thumb at the bean roasting machine over his shoulder and said, “Right there”. Uh, really? So I clarified my question and still received a very abbreviated answer. Ok not much of a talker, fine. I’m used to receiving a cappuccino is a white porcelain mug of some variety, so I was a bit taken back that it came in a tall white paper cup. In this day of eco-awareness and the proximity to the University I would think they might try to save some trees?
For a place with free Wi-Fi, the ability to get various caffeinated concoctions, and some upstairs lounging couches this place isn’t too shabby.