Urban-Spirit's eclectic art gallery and coffee shop honors Columbus's unique jazz history and the struggle for equality endured by African Americans. The shop has dedicated much of this tribute to the lives of two men, Doctors William Arthur Method and his friend R. M. Tribbett, who built the Alpha Hospital in 1920 to employ and heal their community. The shop, where baristas dole out coffee, specialty drinks, and pastries, is located in the historic Alpha building and is also home to the Loft Gallery. This gallery showcases and sells the works of independent and youth artists monthly, and it even invites featured artists to create masterpieces on premises.The Urban-Spirit Education Foundation, a subsidiary of Urban-Spirit Coffee Shop, works with its humanitarian partners to evoke social change and artistic development within the community. They strive to expand the horizons of budding young artists, entrepreneurs, and students through special events, art-education workshops, and competitive internships. They also put their diverse knowledge to use through consulting services, joining forces with local businesses to aid in professional development, program design, and event coordination.
Less than a month after opening day in June 2012, the staff at Grandview Grind had already showcased a local artist's work, hosted a live-music event, set up shop at the Grandview farmers' market, and concocted a smoky iced bacon latte. They've accomplished so much so quickly because they're robots and because they're fueled by a passion for their teas and brews from Backroom Coffee Roasters, Highlander Coffee, and the Bufcafe Cooperative of Rwanda. Inside their shop, from behind a spacious black bar and dark wooden tables and chairs, the baristas pair these drinks with scones, cookies, and fruit.
Travonna Coffee House serves up expertly poured coffee and a robust menu of sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and breakfast items 24 hours a day. Kick off with a Charlie Brown mocha, mixing chocolate, macadamia nut, and hazelnut, but no peanuts ($4.10). Served beginning at 1 a.m., Travonna’s morning start oatmeal—a healthy swirl of whole oats, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, raisins, and cinnamon—gives pale night-walkers much-needed nutrition ($3.75). Or scale gastronomic peaks with the ultimate grilled burrito, a hefty package of chicken, bacon, cheese, onion, olives, and banana peppers in a tomato basil wrap ($6.99). Vegan baked goods are also available, and soy milk can be used in place of regular milk at no extra charge.
Sweet frosting on a layered petit four. Intricate notes emanating from a nearby piano. Steam rising off a teacup as it sits on a delicate saucer. Signs of old-world elegance permeate every corner of Mozart's Bakery and Piano Cafe, and owners Anand and Doris Saha wouldn't have it any other way. The European-trained couple had been slinging their famed tortes and sugary delicacies in the Columbus area for more than 17 years, having learned the ins and outs of pastry making when training in some of Europe's best restaurants and hotels. Mozart’s has more than 80 authentic European delicacies, which have snagged them titles including Best Dessert from Columbus Alive and Best Bakery from Columbus Monthly. Petit fours and truffles are created using imported ingredients from Europe. Continental favorites ranging from beef stroganoff and chicken cordon bleu to bavarian-style wiener schnitzel reproduce the timeless flavors found in dining rooms from Marseille to Munich.
During their European-inspired afternoon tea, a mini meal of pastries parades to tables arm in arm with a steaming cup of 1 of 16 different loose-leaf teas. Alongside decaf and herbal blends, english-breakfast, earl-grey, darjeeling, and rose-petal teas steep in mugs, letting mitts warm up after stealing the noses of arctic explorers. Canapés come in one-bite flavor explosions crowded with curried chicken salad, tomato and provolone, and smoked salmon with cream cheese. Miniature scones cloaked in devonshire cream and fruit preserves serve as diminutive feasts, and peach marzipan and chocolate petits fours, gluten-free truffles, or tea cookies drop a sweet curtain over the afternoon snack.
Soon, Mozart's culinary team will pair this commitment to European elegance with an equally stately local landmark: beginning in early 2013, the cafe will occupy a new spot in the historic halls of High Street's iconic Cord Camera building.