Mayor Bell serves up lattes as guest barista at new East Lake coffee shop
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 27, 2015) – Mayor William A. Bell Sr. will serve as guest barista and join the owners of East 59 Vintage and Café, REV Birmingham, and the REVIVE Street Team at the official ribbon cutting for East Lake’s new coffee house on Wednesday, June 3rd at 4:30 p.m. (located at 7619 1st Avenue North.) The new café, which originated as a pop-up shop during REV’s REVIVE 2013, is fast-becoming a hub for East Lake community activity.
East 59 Vintage and Café was conceived by the Glenn and Bates families in late August 2013. The two neighboring families shared a dream of creating a space where diverse people could gather, collaborate, and experience community in East Lake. Just weeks before, Amber Glenn-Tolbert and Anna Bates-Brown were approved as East Lake pop-up participants for REVIVE; an opportunity the duo maximized by testing out their family’s business concept.
“That week was incredible, because it forced us to come up with a business plan and test out the temporary setup for East 59 in the space we’re in now,” said East 59 Co-Owner Anna Bates-Brown. “We initially envisioned East 59 exclusively as a coffee house, but REVIVE East Lake gave us a chance to talk to community members face-to-face. And customers said they wanted a place to meet their neighbors and enjoy healthier food options, in addition to great coffee.”
The East 59 vision evolved into a multifaceted community space where locals could enjoy a cup of coffee, savor healthier food options, peruse vintage furnishings and collectibles, attend classes, and host small events. Following their pop-up experience, the entrepreneurs – along with their families – tweaked the East 59 Vintage and Café business plan, trained staff and honed the menu.
East 59 Vintage and Café construction began June 2014 and was completed in March 2015. Owners hosted a soft opening late March starting with coffee and gradually expanded their menu options to include breakfast and lunch.
Since opening, owners note the community response has been overwhelming. They hope East 59 will play a part in the restoration of the East Lake community by providing collaborative community space.
“There’s a renewed sense of hope in East Lake,” said East 59 Co-Owner Amber Glenn-Tolbert. “People and businesses want to talk about ways we can collaborate. The community has been so receptive to East 59, and we’re excited to be here.”
The East 59 ribbon cutting featuring guest barista Mayor William A. Bell Sr. and REV Birmingham will take place June 3rd at 4:30 p.m. at East 59, 7619 1st Avenue North. Samples and space tours will also be available. For more information about East 59 Vintage and Café, visit their website at www.east59.net or their Facebook page.
REV Birmingham (REV) revitalizes places and energizes business to create vibrancy in the City of Birmingham. REV is an economic development organization that stimulates business growth and improves quality of life in Birmingham’s City Center and its Neighborhood Commercial Centers For more information visit www.revbirmingham.org.