Joining the souped-up second location of Big Front Door in Bankers Hill is James Coffee Co., which will add a 500-square-foot coffee bar with a large patio to the ground floor of the in-progress Fourth Avenue Lofts at Fourth Avenue and Palm Street.
Founder and head roaster David Kennedy, who toured the globe as a guitarist for several well-known bands, developed a passion for coffee on his travels. A coffee roasting hobby translated into a new profession and in 2014, he launched a coffee bar in Little Italy, moving his roasting operations into the warehouse-like building at the north end of the neighborhood and gathering a handful of complementary small businesses to share the space.
Kennedy says the new Bankers Hill location will look a little more refined than the Little Italy outpost, although he and his brother Jacob will again be custom building the framework and furniture for the space. It will offer the same menu as the India Street coffee bar, plus a few different specialty drinks and grab and go food items.
James Coffee Co.'s artisan roasted beans are currently also fueling the coffee programs at Mission Hills' Heartwork Coffee Bar, The Lot in La Jolla and Por Vida in Barrio Logan. Kennedy says he's currently roasting 700 to 800 pounds of coffee a week, and intends to increase production, but has no plans to expand into the wholesale realm — preferring to interact directly with like-minded business interested in carrying his coffee.