Sump Coffee - Nashville (finally!)

Sump Coffee - Nashville (finally!)

We have officially opened the Nashville shop. The opening was exactly one year later than we forecast when we initially announced. We said September/October 2016, but what it turns out we meant was September/October 2017. First, let us apologize for teasing that announcement and being so far off the mark. But we are officially open. If you’re in Nashville -please drop by and check us out. We are at 8 City Blvd in an area we’re calling Midtown. It’s not exactly midtown, but it is west (to contrast with the east side). It is right off of Charlotte Ave at 28th, and right off of 28th before it turns into the 31st interconnect (from Charlotte Ave and heads toward the Parthenon and beyond). We’re on the back side of the building at 8 City. There is both free street and garage parking and lots and lots of outdoor seating (as well as indoor seating). So what can we tell you about the new spot?

We thought we would start by answering some of the more typical questions asked in the first few weeks. The first, ‘why Nashville?’, ‘why not across town in Saint Louis?’ The quick answer is, we were asked. It is always flattering to be asked or invited to something. After the initial conversations and visits, we jumped in without hesitating. It was also easier to say yes knowing that Chef Craft and members of his team would be our neighbor, separated by a roll up glass garage door. In the scheme of things, Sump is a relatively tiny, sometimes naive, and relatively inexperienced or young business (from the perspective of operating a business, not necessarily making a product) - so the decision was made somewhat easier knowing that we could rely our much more experienced neighbor for advice. The second aspect of this was that the development team behind the project has a very big vision for the 20 acre site and thus far has delivered on producing something really special. Sump in Nashville, faces a green space that includes a soon to be completed event/music stage, is adjacent to a pond with a foot bridge spanning it, is steps away from a sand volleyball court, and next to some amazing - and soon to be leasing, apartments, as well as steps away from the site of a future hotel, beautiful landscaping, free parking -both garage and street; and did we mention our neighbor is Pastaria.

Next up, is ‘have we moved to Nashville?’. The answer is sort of. We have an apartment near the shop and someone from Saint Louis is down there at least half the week each week - as well as, our longest serving barista actually uprooted himself and moved down. So yes and no.

Another question is ‘what should someone visiting the Nashville shop expect?’ You should essentially expect the same experience as in Saint Louis, but in a very new and different skin. The space is a bit more modern and minimal, architecturally speaking, plus lots and lots more glass - Philip Johnson-esque . The menu, brewing and extraction approach is identical. The main differences between the two shops are the milk and water. Maybe not obviously, but the water tables between the two locations are significantly different as well as is the creameries. Both inputs have a material impact on the flavor experience between the two shops. In Nashville we use a reverse osmotic water filtration system. The filtered water is then remineralized, and as a result we can more finely tune the exact hardness/softness of the water. Whereas in Saint Louis, the water natively tastes very good -so we just soften, mainly to protect the equipment. The difference in flavor, is that the Nashville shop tends to produce a slightly cleaner, softer, and a bit more tea-like cup; whereas the Saint Louis shop produces a similar cup, but with a bit more body and mouth feel. The milk is also different  -most likely due to differences in diets/grass terroir, but also one dairy vat pasteurizes the other flash pasteurizes. You might also eventually see some differences in the seasonal coffee mocktails between the two shops as we let each shop’s team present their unique personalities and creative sides in these seasonal menus. And lastly, food? Do we have it? Is it different than Saint Louis? We embraced the same philosophy in Nashville as in Saint Louis. We are terrible cooks and have no interest in pivoting to a classic cafe food model. We have partnered with a baker in Nashville -Dozens Bakery (a Nashville hometown favorite) and they deliver a selection of fresh made pastries every morning (croissants, scones, muffins, cookies and the like).

We're holding a little soiree Friday, Oct 27 2017 to celebrate our opening (or really just finally getting that sign up). Come down and taste some of the most incredible affogatos you'll ever have, made possible by gelato from our friends and neighbors at Pastaria. 

Sump Coffee, 8 City Blvd, Nashville, TN, Open M-Sat 8-6, Sun 9-3 

{photo: Lindi Harvey}

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