Wine bar The Alcove has long been a favorite destination for residents of Uptown's cozy State Thomas neighborhood, and now it's doing double duty as a friendly neighborhood coffee shop. Coffee guru Mike Mettendorf has worked behind the scenes for The Pearl Cup and helped the Design District's Ascension Coffee make its mark as one of the top coffee destinations in the city, and now he's striking out on his own with State Street Coffee.
The venture's been several months in the making, and after several months of quietly ramping up his offerings, Mettendorf's now got a full-service neighborhood coffee shop, complete with a dog-friendly patio, the requisite free wi-fi, a walk-up window for convenient sidewalk service, and on the weekends, breakfast tacos. Behind the bar at State Street is a Synesso Hydra espresso machine; the current coffee lineup features espresso from Tweed, brewed coffee and pour-overs from Novel Coffee Roasters, and nitrogen-infused Noble Coyote cold brew on draft.
One thing you won't find at State Street Coffee, however, is a menu. "I absolutely believe that no matter how seriously I take my craft that people should be allowed to drink coffee the way they want," says Mettendorf. Patrons are encouraged to order their favorite drinks, whether that happens to be a cappuccino, a cortado, an oh-so-trendy flat white, or a non-fat sugar-free two-pump extra foam hazelnut mocha latte. Er, maybe not that last one — like most of the city's finer coffee shops, there's no skim milk or sugar-free syrups here. (State Street uses two percent milk as their go-to, though there's also soy and almond milks available.)
"I'm not here to elevate the industry or craft or lampoon my own barista pedigree, just to please the good people in my neighborhood," he explains. Of course, that doesn't mean his inner coffee nerd is going anywhere: Mettendorf hints he's also got another concept up his sleeve that will focus more seriously on the craft of coffee. For now, find him pulling shots behind the bar at State Street from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.