Beginning next month, residents and visitors will have a new spot to enjoy a fresh, hot cup of Joe as well as something to go with.
Historic City News and Media gets to the bottom of all the “buzz” around the one time service station at 1280 North Ponce de Leon Boulevard that is owned by Celestia Kyall; widow of the late St. Augustine businessman Kirby Kyall.
Lifelong resident and attorney Gary Davenport tells Historic City News in an interview this morning that he is closing his law offices in Flagler Beach and relocating closer to home; here in St. Augustine. He and his wife, Vicki, along with Ron and Susan Junod have undertaken what can only be described as a complete transformation of one of “KK’s” first tire store locations.
City Coffee Company will take up residence at the newly renovated location with Ron, Susan and Vicki leading the way — while Gary sets up his law practice and manages a rental conference center in the other half of the building.
Ron Junod says that the original look they were going for was Tuscan; pointing to the natural stone, tile and granite materials being installed in the counters, floors and seating areas ….. “I guess we kind of missed on that”, he joked. The new design is actually a mix of several comfortable, “homey” styles and will have the warm feel of upscale coffee houses in larger cities.
Gary said that one of the important things about the new coffee venture is that they are using as many local ingredients as possible. Starting with the help, construction materials and continuing through the operation of the coffee shop itself, the accent has been to keep things local. Davenport proudly traces his Minorcan roots in the community back as many as 400 years.
In addition to sofas and bistro style tables indoors, City Coffee Company will also feature outdoor patio style seating.
City Coffee will serve gourmet coffees and other beverages, deli style sandwiches and wraps, salads and an assortment of bagels and pastries, according to business partner Ron Junod.
Besides great food, the new store plans to provide free WI-FI as well as a venue for live entertainers to perform. “You would be surprised at the number of people we have seen walking in front of our store at night”, Gary told me. “They need somewhere to go and something to do.”, referring to the number of hotel guests staying within comfortable walking distance of the new City Coffee location.
The two families are clearly making a major investment in remodeling the old location, an investment that Davenport feels certain will pay off over the life of their long term lease. With the increased “cultural” and financial investment of others in the area, notably the Limelight Theater one block east on Mission Avenue, and the concentration of visitors and residents in the area, Davenport and Junod are banking on serving up coffee, food and entertainment in this part of town for quite some time.
Photo credit: Historic City Media news photographer Kerry McGuire