I was intrigued when Brian Clemens, coffee evangelist (i.e., operations director) at Relevant Coffee, emailed me to tell me his coffee shop was moving to a new space at 17th and Main streets in Uptown Village. I quickly accepted his invitation to meet with him and owner/roaster Mitch Montgomery for a sneak peek at the new space.
I knew I was in the right place because window glass had been installed, allowing natural light to flood into this former office space. The old awnings were gone. Brown paper covered the windows and the room wasn’t finished, but it was clear that Relevant’s new spot was going to be a chic, low-key gathering place to sip carefully roasted coffee.
It’s always fun to meet up with Clemens and Montgomery because their enthusiasm for coffee approaches the giddiness level of two kids adding the last of 7,500 Lego blocks to the Millennium Falcon. Montgomery’s wife, Kelly, joined us. The Montgomerys spent months poring over images of coffee shops around the world to come up with the right look for this coffee shop. They wanted to create a comfortable and inviting space where patrons could watch coffee being roasted. Photos of a roastery and cafe in Germany inspired their design.
A coffee roaster will be added so all of Relevant’s coffee can be roasted on site and patrons can watch the entire process. Montgomery wants to share with the public the profound experience he recently had visiting a coffee bean supplier in Guatemala. He plans on teaching bean-to-cup coffee classes and brewing classes so people can optimize brewing Relevant’s beans at home.
Two weeks later, I visited on opening day. The room was filled with customers and many regulars from the old space were warmly greeted by the baristas.