North Texas Daily

New coffee shop to open on Denton Square

New coffee shop to open on Denton Square

New coffee shop to open on Denton Square
October 08
23:54 2014

Samantha McDonald / Staff Writer

At a time when coffee shops seem to be emerging on every street corner, a similar business with a different strategy arrives.

Enter West Oak Coffee Bar, the newest addition to the Square that currently boasts a wooden black-and-white mural as a front to conceal ongoing construction. Behind the artwork of the barrier, crew members are restoring and redesigning next-door neighbor McBride’s Music & Pawn’s former storage room and transforming it into a building compete with a coffee bar, a beer and wine bar and a workspace where coffee addicts and beer drinkers can share their love for these beverages.

While many startup restaurants are looking to be the next best thing, West Oak Coffee Bar co-owner Clay Rozell said that he and co-owner Matt Fisher hope to simply add to the business potential that is already established in the city.

“The downtown area is thriving right now, and we’re just looking to supplement and be a part of the vibe that’s already created downtown,” said Rozell, who also owns another coffeehouse on the Square, Bookish Coffee.

Not just another coffee shop

By the end of November, the coffee bar plans to have its main coffee shop on the first floor as well as a basement space open to events such as private coffee tastings.

“We are knee-deep in creating West Oak Coffee Bar,” Rozell said.

Perhaps known best for teasing customers with chocolate milk on tap, West Oak is set to offer everything from coffee and tea to microbrews and meals. Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee will be the primary supplier of the roast and organic tea for the coffee bar.

Another work in progress is the sourcing of local breweries with rotations depending upon seasonality and local craft beer productions. Microbrews on tap will be complemented with a wine menu.

The coffee bar will also serve food, including desserts, breakfast sandwiches and lunch meals.

Public relations junior Keyona Butler, a Zera Coffee Company regular, only recently heard about the new coffee shop in town. Although she hasn’t been on the lookout for more coffeehouses in which to spend time, she plans to visit West Oak when it opens next month.

“It’s probably going to be good, maybe even better, especially that it’s a coffee shop and bar as well,” she said. “I like trying new stuff, so why not check it out?”

Keeping the future customers

Among the most well-known coffee shops in Denton is Big Mike’s Coffee on Hickory Street. Due to its location, UNT students and Dentonites who live close to the downtown area frequent this city favorite. Although grabbing a share of the same market is expected, Big Mike’s employees have built a genuine camaraderie with West Oak’s owners, offsetting the chances of fierce competition between the two.

“We’re all really good friends with them,” Big Mike’s Coffee barista Autumn Espinoza said.

On the Square is another coffee shop, Jupiter House, which was voted the best coffee shop in the city by the Denton Record-Chronicle four years in a row. This advantage, on top of its amiable relationship with West Oak’s owners, will help it share the same customer base while keeping the businesses profitable.

“There won’t necessarily be any competition because we also do a lot of different things,” Jupiter House barista Kelbi Callaway said.

Rozell said that because he both lives and works in Denton, it became inevitable to spend a considerable amount of time in the downtown area. After several visits, he began to notice that there exists a number of coffeehouses with similarities to West Oak, and he doesn’t see this as a need to change the business concept.

“We’re not trying to recreate the wheel,” Rozell said. “We’re trying to just offer another avenue for people to gather and experience really good coffee in a great environment.”

Featured Image: Construction continues at the West Oak Coffee Bar on the Square. The coffee house will open for private events by the end of November. Photo by Samantha McDonald – Staff Writer

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