Friday, August 5, 2011

The Cup

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.

Invisible baristas!
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. 

The Cup on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Well, the coffee just ain't that great and that's being polite. I wish her well, I love the baked goods, but the machiatto was, well, it was just bad. Sorry.

I'm posting this anonymously because I'd rather not add insult to injury but you just have to have trained baristas if you're going to serve anything but brewed coffee.

I hope she makes it everybody deserves a chance to figure things out but I'll return after they do.

My wife had a coffee and it was just warmer than luke warm and weak. Again, not good.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Well, as I said, I don't know much about coffee, but I liked what I had. You sound like you may have more coffee cred than me though.

Hopefully any quality issues are just part of the growing pains process.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Well my husband and I went there recently and I had a chai tea latte and it was delicious. It was actually much better than the ones I get at Starbucks. It was plenty hot and not watered-down like they sometimes are at Starbucks and other places. I was pleasantly surprised. I also really liked the fact that they were selling baked goods from the Artisan Baking Company. I like that she is supporting other local businesses. I will definitely go back and I wish the owner much success.

Anonymous said...

Neat place, staff was eager to please and explain the menu. Biggest complaint, the clientele. Seems the arts district crowd isn't into 2 year old's saying "Milk" while pointing at it. Heaven forbid someone break the eerie silence of one's morning caffeine injection. Even so, I'd rather the draw the ire of a bunch of snooty coffee snobs than explain to her what neck tattoos and nose piercings are when I take her to Avoca. I digress, I hope it does well not face the same fate as Eurotazza.

Jaedeanne and Baby Ruby Catherine said...

I love The Cup, and am so happy that we have such a cute little coffee shop in the neighborhood! I've taken my toddler there in her little red wagon a few times and the staff are always incredibly accommodating - offering her samples of baked goods and smiling as I tried to keep her from jumping on the new couches. The coffee was good (I'm no afficionado, so my review probably doesn't carry much weight) and I enjoyed their breakfast panini.

Happy that they offer Artisan Baking Co. goods - waiting until Saturdays at the Farmer's Market was getting a little touch-and-go in my household....

Looking forward to trying more of their offerings!

Anonymous said...

I get my morning jolt at The Cup every morning on my way to work. I love it. I go there for the coffee, helpful Baristas, and because I just like it. I feel warmly greeted and my drink is always perfect. I do know a thing or two about good espresso and that is the closest that I've had on this side of the pond.

They are a really nice group and so far I've only had excellent service and espresso drinks.

AH Neighborhood

Anonymous said...

@AnonymousAugust9th - I'll take nose piercings over snooty westsiders who look down on nose piercings, thanks.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Oh no she di'in't

What about a snooty westsider, looking down her nose, through her nose ring.... Maybe it's not disgust, but rather a reminder of her past.

The west side vs south side battle continues.

Anonymous said...

26 year old male here. This place is too pricey (probably have to compensate for high rent). Although I always thought this location was ideal for a coffee spot, it definitly needs work on intereior design to make it more inviting. I give the Coffee 6 out of10. I miss the old 4-star coffee bar on 7th street. That place had a good feel and perhaps The Cup should pull the history book and take notes. A well decorated place can make up for sub par coffee. One of my favorite spots is Anywho, a few tweeks and they should be gtg.

Anonymous said...

Didn't get two steps into the door, had not even walked up to the counter when the "barista" asked me for my order. Then, because the place is so poorly laid out and it was empty, I was forced to listen while she spent more time bragging about the yoga class she just taught. Too bad the coffee wasn't as good as her classes...Won't go back. Sorry, really wanted this place to work out.

Anonymous said...

Coffee outstanding. Service excellent. Dog friendly. They even brought a bowl of water to the back patio for my dog Kona. I have been here several times and never been disappointed. Highly recommended.

I Know Right? said...

I say Bon Giorno in downtown Fort Worth is the best, hands down, as far as coffee goes. I spent my formative HS years in Belgium and got hooked on coffee there and the cappuccino at Bon Giorno is the best i have had. I am nota fan of Starbucks nor their roasting style, not to mention the 4 inches of foam they deem necessary to put on their cappuccino. So..for me Bon Giorno all the way.