Ever since the Starbucks at Hulen/Camp Bowie and 7th Street 4 Star Coffee Bar shut down, the elite in 76107 have been missing out on a small coffee shop to call their own. Well, now they have one in The Cup (facebook page), the Italian inspired neighborhood coffee shop. Owner, Nancy Williams, has filled in part of the old Bluebonnet Bakery space with a tiny coffee shop focused on high quality coffee/espresso/drinks.
There are mixed reviews so far and I'm torn. A couple commentor's complained that the place isn't homey enough. I tend to agree that the place doesn't seem reminiscent of a neighborhood coffee joint. Though FWHITW hasn't been able to raise funding for an italian coffee shop trip, the inside appears very modern and sleek. When you enter, there's a large counter, hiding a crew of learning, but hard working baristas. Below the counter is a couch and a group of people knowingly glancing at you with the "I have the best seat in the house look". Along the left wall is a large piece of furniture containing the sugar/cream/etc fixtures at coffee shops, followed by some tables and a lower counter to pay the cashier, a small fridge with cold things, then a hallway to the back patio. I think there are also some chandeliers and a top hat stand.
Nancy has done a great place of making this old bakery into a new space and although I hoped for something more homey (as others have said), it's very well done. I believe somebody commented that this place was a "junior league wannabes" or rich old "West-side lady" place. As neither, I can't comment on how it meets their coffee needs, but I think this may be a bit off. This isn't a Lunch Box but it's also no Avoca Coffee. Though the whole area could use less antique lamp shade places.
There are some neighborhood friendly features that definitely deserve mention. The Cup is dog friendly on the patio - the back patio is conveniently placed outside of the evening sun and is surprisingly large. The front patio includes a couple of tables and chairs for those that just want to watch the morning traffic on Camp Bowie. Though the place isn't wood paneled with rustic furniture and lots of World Market purchased pictures of lattes, it's got a neighborhood-aimed view.
My trusted reporter who has been a number of times says he's seen families there who biked in, a large dog on the patio, and many people coming in the front door on the way to work. He said none of them seemed junior league-esque as most of the people he saw were men. Though maybe the JL is opening up membership....
Regarding the coffee....Fantastic. The Cup serves Illy coffee which is Italian for "the only non-alcoholic drink consumed here". I had a latte and it tasted great with perfect heat and better than what you get at most places. I'm not a coffee snob but this just tasted right. I felt like I was in Italy - mainly because of the hairy guy yelling at me from a bus stop at the corner of the building..
|Thanks for the pic, Star-Telegram|
The coffee is probably a bit pricey to most at about $3-4 for a small coffee drink. That may be on par with other places with good coffee, but I don't know since we have so few coffee places here in town. But for the junior league wannabes and rich old Rivercrest ladies, it's half a day's servant's wages.
Initially, walking in, the place doesn't make me feel like sitting down and staying. It seems more like a place to run in and grab something to go. No comment on the patio seating yet since it's too hot to touch skin to anything outside right now. But, a lot of people will find something to like about the style as its completely different from other places in the area. And as mentioned before, a dog friendly place to go when the weather is nicer may be popular in the cooler months.
Regardless of the views of the style, there's good news for you Fort Worth Foodies. The Cup sells selected items from the Fort Worth Artisan Baking Company and apparently Nancy wants to meet the needs of the neighbors so she'll stock what people want to buy. Currently, there's breakfast (yogurts, granola, pastries, etc) and lunch (panninis) and this menu may expand as people start becoming regulars.
If you're in the area, give them a shot and let me know what you think. I'm still up in the air but maybe you can sway me. Also, say hello to Nancy. And comment here because she's already responded to a few comments.
The Cup is located at 3909 Camp Bowie and is currently open 7-2 but plans to open later in the future.