Feb '17 Food and Drink Historic Old Northeast

Black Crow Coffee: Community, Art and Damn Good Coffee

Saturday Night outside of Black Crow Coffee Shop in Old Northeast St Pete by Kelly Nash Photography

From the street, anybody but a local might miss the unassuming coffee joint that sits alongside the other local businesses on 2nd Street North. Those in the know, however, recognize the cafe for the local treasure that it is. Nestled away amongst the brick roads of historic Old Northeast is Black Crow Coffee, an eclectic shop offering locally roasted coffee, fresh baked goods and a welcoming atmosphere.

Crow Coffee aims to fill a different niche than the typical coffee shop. Artisanal teas and pastries fill a menu bustling with options, ranging from traditional pour-over coffee to ginger, molasses and rosemary cookies.

Black Crow Coffee
Black Crow Coffee

The varieties of coffee offered by Black Crow come backed with experience. Bauman also owns Indian Shores Coffee, providing him with the experience needed to provide Black Crow Coffee with uncompromising quality. Having a passion for the craft also lead Bauman to roast Black Crow’s coffee locally, and provide customers with roasts to match their tastes perfectly.

The cafe’s character, however, extends far beyond the menu. Its uniqueness is obvious as soon as you step foot through the door. Every piece of furniture is individual, with its own story; locally created art lines the walls, and music hand-picked by the staff fills the air.

Musicians Eena Christopher and Jake Kents jamming together outside of the coffee shop by Kelly Nash Photography
Musicians Eena Christopher and Jake Kents jamming together outside of the coffee shop by Kelly Nash Photography

Accompanying the homegrown style is an immediate sense of community. Baristas get to know the clientele as friends instead of customers, and the coffee enthusiasts and artists who fill Black Crow Coffee are equally sociable. Such an organic, friendly environment lends itself to the cafe being more than a simple coffee shop, but instead a social hub for the whole of Old Northeast. “We’ve seen that a lot of the neighbors have found each other. Life gets busy, but stepping in Black Crow lets you get to know those around you better,” explained Bauman.

The quaint nature of Black Crow Coffee also allows it to be a vanguard of local art and culture. Bauman and Hawk are passionate about the grassroots art movement in St. Pete, and their actions speak for it. Black Crow hosts an art show the first week of the month, putting a handful of local artists on display with a backing of live music. The cafe also hosts poetry events, an open mic night, and performances from an improv group, all on a monthly basis. A dedication to creativity is also apparent, day to day, as the shop doubles as a space for independent artists to produce and share their work. According to Bauman, “Pretty much any day you come in here, you’ll see someone illustrating, writing, playing music. It’s a comfortable environment for art.”

Greg Bauman and Deana Hawk, owners of Black Crow Coffee by Kelly Nash Photography
Greg Bauman and Deana Hawk, owners of Black Crow Coffee by Kelly Nash Photography

The pair also play an active part in St. Pete’s art scene outside of Black Crow by participating in a number of community markets and events. The shop’s engagement with artists and visionaries throughout the city is best displayed in their newest location, which serves as a roastery for Black Crow, a recording studio for up-andcoming musicians, and a venue for live events. Hawk said that the location serves as the perfect way to explain Black Crow Coffee, “A combination of everything we love—community, music and roasting coffee.”

Edward the Pug by Kelly Nash Photography
Edward the Pug at Black Crow Coffee by Kelly Nash Photography

On its surface, Bauman and Hawk simply established a successful coffee shop. The true impact of Black Crow, however, is far greater. The cafe is a pillar of its community, fosters grassroots art as an informal venue and gallery, and contributes to the thriving local markets of St. Pete. The future of Black Crow Coffee is one and the same as the future of city, and Hawk is excited to see what it holds: “The next few years, there’s going to be a lot going on throughout the city. We’re excited to be involved in St. Pete’s coffee movement, both the roasting and the community.”

Black Crow Coffee is located at 722 2nd Street North and is open 7 days a week from 7am-9pm. For more information, visit blackcrowcoffeeco.com or follow them on Facebook.

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