Every day thousands of people commute to downtown via the Fifth and Forbes Uptown corridor. A good portion of those people would probably stop for coffee along that way if there were somewhere to do so easily. At least that's what Matt Hoover and Chip Fetrow are hoping. At their new cafe, Asylum Coffee Bar, which will open sometime in July, they plan to have curbside service for morning commuters, making it that much easier to get your morning caffeine fix.
But as the name Asylum suggest, Hoover and Fetrow also want to attract plenty of "for here" customers to their industrial-chick cafe. With exposed bricks, a corrugated metal and poured concrete bar, a large flat-screen television and a wall-mounted gas fireplace, it looks more like an edgy bar than a cafe. "We just wanted to have fun with it," said Hoover, who describes the vibe they hope to create as "fun, laid back and not pretentious."
But Asylum isn't all style. They're using a Nuovo Simonelli Grinder and espresso machine and beans from local Iron Star Roasting Company (the roasting wing of Coffee Tree). Sandwiches, scones and other edibles will be provided by Mirabelle Restaurant in Oakmont.
On a gloriously sunny Saturday morning, at a small preview party for neighbors, friends and people in the coffee community, Asylum was buzzing with young professionals, who looked right at home, perched at stools along the counter sipping cappuccinos and espressos and nibbling miniature roast chicken sandwiches with tomatoes and asparagus and buttery lemon scones.
They're working on getting permits approved for a sidewalk patio, but with the glass garage door open to the street, it was already a bright spot on the industrial blankness of Forbes Avenue.