Tuesday, July 23, 2013 , Updated 12:00 a.m., July 29, 2013
Plano’s Fourteen Eighteen Coffeehouse opens July 29
Its owner loves coffeehouses so much, she got married in one.
PLANO Plano has never appealed more as a date-night destination, with its newfound restaurant and entertainment scene, but the city could use a java jolt, particularly one that doubles as a hangout. That's what Melissa Owen envisions for her new shop, Fourteen Eighteen Coffeehouse, which opens on July 29. If her vision pans out, the shabby-chic hangout will function as the "third place" -- following home and work -- where community members will go to feel at comfortable and indulge.
Fourteen Eighteen is located, as its name suggests, at 1418 Avenue K in historic downtown Plano. Its owners will brew Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters products on its La Marzocco machine, recently imported from Italy. Baristas will also serve pies from Oak Cliff's Emporium Pies and cakeballs from Amazeballs, in addition to other grab-and-go items.
Owen said she used to have to drive to Allen for a cup of coffee, or go to Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble. "But, that didn't really get at what I wanted and what Plano needs," she said.
What Plano needs, she suggested, is a spot with comfy couches, coffee tables with games, and high-quality, well-educated pours. Owen -- a former operating room nurse -- learned the trade by attending Texas Coffee School in Arlington as well as working with Vocation Vacation, a company that connects aspiring entrepreneurs with successful small business owners to learn a trade. Through that company, she traveled to New Haven, Connecticut, to shadow and learn the business side of the industry at a shop called Koffee? Later, she visited a fellow Coffee School alumna and friend at her new shop in South Texas to work for a few weeks to "get the flow down," she said.
Fourteen Eighteen will be open late on Fridays and Saturdays, until 11 p.m., with live music. Owen sees the shop as an opportunity to provide Plano with an after-dinner dessert alternative.
"We're located right next to a tattoo parlor in downtown Plano among its cobblestone streets," Owen said, laughing. "Can you imagine a better spot?"
Owen said that the Plano Chamber of Commerce was immediately supportive and played a large role in helping her get the business off the ground. Now she hopes Fourteen Eighteen will be able to provide for the community in the way it has provided for her in making her dream come true.
"I've wanted to do this for years," she said. "And my husband Gary, a pastor, said 'Go for it. It's now or never.' He's very supportive. He might push a broom occasionally, but this is really my project."
She and Gary even married at the Generator, a coffeehouse in downtown Garland which has, she lamented, transformed into a bakery.
Fourteen Eighteen opens at 7 a.m. on Monday, July 29. It will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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