It’s goal accomplished for the burgeoning Westgate BusinessWorks. Starting this Friday, December 15, the storefront at 3058 W. Broad St. will house coffee shop Third Way Cafe.
As the businesses housed in two buildings at the corner of West Broad Street and Westmoor Avenue began to fill in, Westgate BusinessWorks Founders Barbara Miller and Daryl Hennessy took a cue from the community and set their sites on a coffee shop to anchor the growing hub of economic activity.
When he purchased the buildings in 2015, Hennessy took the step from involved Westside community member to doing what he could to make a direct economic impact on the area. He wanted to provide business owners from Westgate and the Hilltop a chance to get out of their basements and into storefronts where rent wasn’t going to be the reason they failed.
It was a vision that spoke to social entrepreneur John Rush. Rush connected with Hennessy through the Hilltop Commission where he would present information on employment opportunities available through his enterprises, CleanTurn Demolition Services and She Has a Name Cleaning Services.
Part of Rush’s big-picture vision for CleanTurn is to always be launching brands that are supportive of their mission, “to strengthen communities with an empowered workforce by creating profitable social enterprises.”
What excites Rush the most about Westgate BusinessWorks and the opportunity is the desire to see the community grow and develop, but in a way that’s not detrimental to the existing population. It’s empowering existing community members for transformation without pushing anyone out.
Coffee will be a new segment of the market for CleanTurn and their approach will see a shop unique to the community and Columbus.
Fielding support from the community at large and the Westgate Neighborhood Association, Rush wants to create a space where the diversity of the neighborhood can interact.
“The idea is to encourage good conversation, to foster a sense of empathy and good listening skills to be able to engage in a more deep and meaningful way,” Rush says.
It’s reflective of the shop’s name – not the right or the left, but a third way.
For its soft launch phase which will last until late winter or early spring, Third Way Cafe will serve up brewed coffee only, supplied by local roasters. One Line, Roaming Goat, Florin Coffee and Coffee Crafters are already on board to supply the brews.
Paying for that coffee will look a little different than the average coffee shop. For $2/per visit, customers can caffeinate on a bottomless cup of java. A $20/month pass earns unlimited visits and cups of coffee. Memberships priced at $200 for the year include the coffee and no cover to the rotating selection of events that will occupy the 1,200 square-foot space.
Game nights, poetry, live music – Rush says to expect it all at Third Way Cafe. There will also be event series unique to the cafe, like “Penny University” which will bring in authors and professors once a month for an in-depth look at a topic.
Events will include a diversity of food trucks, bringing local eats to an area that’s largely devoid of options with the recent departure of Dirty Frank’s. A lineup of pastries whipped up by local bakers that participated in the Westgate Farmers Market will provide eats on a day-to-day basis.
Books curated towards classic literature and records will also line the walls of the cafe – and be for sale. Actually, pretty much everything in the space will be for sale, including the furniture. Westgate BusinessWorks tenant Gypsy Soul will provide some for-sale pieces, as well as River West Designs Owner Lisa Sansome and the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio.
Local will be everywhere in the space, down to the coffee mugs hand-crafted by Grace Grudowski. A dozen local artists from Summer Jam West and the greater arts community are also ready to grace the walls with their work.
After a few months of phase one, Third Way Cafe will take a two-week hiatus for a complete makeover that will turn it into a full coffee bar (meaning espresso drinks as well as drip). Future plans also include curb-side service and a robust offering of local beans for sale by the bag.
Third Way Cafe will host a Soft Launch Open House this Friday, December 15 from 6 – 9 p.m. For more information, visit thirdwaycafe.org.