After 11 years in the area, the Grant Park Coffeehouse closed its Cherokee Avenue location last year due to issues with the landlord. (Howdy Biscuit ATL opened in its place.) Grant Park Coffeehouse owner Rahel TafarI opened a location Downtown near Georgia State, but she always wanted to return to her original coffeehouse community. This fall, she plans to do just that.
TafarI purchased the building at 337 Georgia Avenue (formerly Mindpower marketing), more than doubling her space. This will enable her to expand Grant Park Coffeehouse’s menu and offer table service, a first for the business.
“I’m so excited and ready to get back to my neighborhood,” TafarI says. “I feel like I’ve been sharing maybe 10 percent of my potential for years. I will have my dream kitchen and am ready to share my love of cooking—things my mom and grandma taught me in their kitchens.”
The 4,500-square-foot space will have a bar in the middle with pastry cases and a coffee counter around it. The open floorplan will feature exposed brick for an inviting feel. An enclosed patio will have umbrellas for shade and a magnolia tree for ambiance. Approximately 25 percent of the total space will be designated for dining. Customers can order to-go items at the counter or sit down for wait service. Soundproof conference rooms and coworking spaces will be available for rent.
“We had such a tiny space before. We hadn’t been able to roast our own coffee in our facility,” TafarI says. “We’ll have a new, state-of-the art machine for roasting. We’ll offer nitro and more regional coffees from the Southeast and Africa (Tanzania, Uganda).”
The coffeehouse will also expand its Chai and hibiscus tea lines and begin serving fresh juices and smoothies. New menu items include Dutch pancakes and Belgian waffles made with Ethiopian grains (TafarI is Ethiopian). Weekend brunch will be offered until 3 p.m. and feature oatmeal, custom omelets, shrimp and grits, and more. (The Downtown location will keep its current menu.)
“This is Grant Park upgraded to the max,” TafarI says. “It’ll have the same vibe, the same reggae African music. I wanted to create a space where people can be happy and stay as long as they want.”
“I miss my community. I can’t wait to get back to the things that nurture my heart and my being—seeing the same people, the children and the pets coming by, and celebrating people’s birthdays—the things that connect us,” she says.