The company plans to move its roasting operations and offices to the new space as early as December. There will be a bar for coffee drinks and coffee education, as well as a showroom for the company’s products.
This is the former Torres Auto Body building. The two windows on the left will be turned into doors leading to a patio space in what is now an alley on the building’s west side. Neffendorf also bought an empty lot behind the building which will be turned into a parking lot, he says. A bar would run the length of the space.
The company got its start delivering freshly roasted coffee to homes and businesses in the neighborhood. But most of Oak Cliff Coffee’s business is wholesale now, and their coffee is in Crooked Tree Coffee House, Oak Lawn Coffee, Central Market and about 30 others businesses in the Dallas area.
Neffendorf says the cafe is more about showcasing the coffee, teaching people about coffee and building relationships with customers than it is about creating the next trend in coffee shops. The main focus is still their wholesale business, he says.
“We’re not going to open a string of coffee shops,” he says.
The cafe will be open with a limited menu, probably from 6 a.m.-noon six days a week, to coffee drinkers and their kiddos (the Neffendorfs have three, and they want a family friendly place).
Neffendorf has been researching the history of the building, which has enough space that he will offer part of it for lease once it’s renovated. He found that it actually is two adjoining buildings, one built in the ’20s and the other built in the ’40s. The older building started out as McDowell Grocery and Market. It was later Davis Street Hardware and Plumbing and had been an auto shop since the ’60s. The newer building at one time housed J.A. Campbell Pecan Co., a pecan-shelling operation.