A new cafe operator will start brewing coffee and espresso drinks at the Dubbel Dutch downtown in late October: Space Time Coffee, a micro-roaster that debuted in the pandemic.
Space Time will open Oct. 20. Its hours at the 19th-century-house-turned-hotel at 817 N. Marshall St. will be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The cafe will be in the extended space that’s a tavern by night; it also has seating outside, in front of and behind the hotel. The cafe and tavern are open to the public.
In the meantime, the current cafe operator, the Daily Bird, is open through Oct. 17. After that, the Daily Bird owners will focus on their Riverwest pop-up, operating out of Centro Cafe.
Space Time will brew pourover coffees and make espresso drinks such as lattes and cortados, from its own roasted beans, and most of the half-dozen or so syrups for flavoring drinks, such as vanilla bean, will be made by Space Time.
The cafe also will serve tea by Rishi and sell bakery items by Matilda Bakehouse, another business that started in the pandemic. Customers can expect to find baked goods such as cinnamon knots, chocolate croissants and other morning pastries.
Space Time’s owner is Adam Sterr, whose background is in the performing arts. The Green Bay native worked as a dancer for the Milwaukee Ballet and then freelanced for other dance companies while also working at coffee shops.
He moved back to Milwaukee after eight years on the East Coast in 2019, just five months before the pandemic hit.
“That was kind of the catalyst for me, like a lot of people,” to take stock and decide to move his professional life in another direction, he said.
“The timing was very much right. Nothing like a global pandemic to say, if you’re going to try something, if you’re going to dive in, why not now,” Sterr said.
In September 2020, he began roasting coffee to order a pound at a time, selling it through his website, spacetimecoffee.com, and shipping it nationally. He started selling it at pop-up markets and farmers markets, as well, which is where Sterr and Matilda Bakehouse owner Allie Fisher met.
And now he’s opening his own cafe.
“I miss that cafe culture; I miss what it was for me, as an artist,” Sterr said. “There’s this place I can go to think, or bounce ideas off other people. … It’s this den for your creativity or outward expression.”
He wants the cafe to be that sort of space for up-and-coming artists and hopes to have pop-ups featuring artists eventually. Until then, he’s focusing on the coffee.
Space Time will offer a dark roast using beans from Sumatra, a medium roast from Guatemala and a light roast whose source will change. The cafe also will have decaf and espresso.
Only the espresso is a blend of beans; all other roasts are from a single origin. Sterr said the beans are supplied by high-end importers that work with fair trade farms and cooperatives.
All pourovers and espresso drinks, other than cortados and the like, will be served in 12-ounce cups for hot drinks and 16-ounce cups for cold drinks. And, to encourage sustainability, Space Time will experiment with making 20-ounce drinks for no extra charge if customers bring their own 20-ounce cups.
Space Time, whose slogan is “Make art. Be weird. Drink coffee,” takes its name from Sterr’s love of low-budget, macabre sci-fi films, nurtured while growing up by watching “Chiller Theatre” and its host, Ned the Dead, on TV in Green Bay.
“That was a part of my upbringing and something I absolutely loved,” Sterr said.
“If Morticia Addams and Ed Wood decided to form a coffee company with the cast of ‘Young Frankenstein,’ that’s kind of where my tastes lie,” he said.
Those B-movies and a one-person, DIY start-up business have something in common, as Sterr sees it.
“I’m making this happen with minimal resources. That’s the whole thing with those sci-fi B-movies, so that was a natural fit,” he said.
Space Time Coffee will post updates on Instagram, at spacetimecoffeemke.
Contact dining critic Carol Deptolla at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 224-2841, or through the Journal Sentinel Food & Home page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.
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