A former electric motor shop now contains a great coffeehouse known for their brews, food and artsy designs in latte foam.
The Black Owl Cafe welcomes patrons with scents of oragnic, fair-trade beans roasted on-site three times a week. Owned by the Kalamazoo Coffee Company, the cafe is in the newly dubbed River’s Edge, a neighborhood that once housed the booming industrial sector and a well-trafficked red light distric. Now, it is evolving into a destination area for the culturally conscious. The decor inside the two-story cafe belies little of the building’s history or of its former tenant, an electric motor shop. Instead, you'll find a vibe that's a cross between a rustic hunting lodge and an outsider art gallery. Pressed-tin ceiling, Mason jars filled with coffee, chalkboard menus and lots of big windows letting in natural light set a cozy tone. Photographs of South American trains, cows and trees augment furniture created using found objects both in the old motor shop and in a series of area barns and farm houses.
In addition to the full array of coffee drinks you'd expect (available in French press, soft brew, Chemex, pour over and the siphon method), you'll find a full breakfast and lunch menu. Options run from the basic (pancakes and chicken and waffles) to more sophisticated (risotto with bacon, spinach, caramelized onions and smoked provolone and roasted veggie calzones). You'll also find pizzas, sandwiches and the specialty pulled pork in the afternoon. Large coffee drinks run up to $3.18, less than what you'd pay at Starbucks; food generally runs less than $10 per item.
Black Owl Cafe plans to grab the late-night crowd by offering its microbrewed beer on tap; though the time frame for the brewery opening is yet to be determined. We iike it as it is right now, but look forward to seeing what else these food-loving coffee fans come up with.