Stumptown New Orleans Opens!

Mar 28, 2016

We’re a hanging a shingle in the Big Easy! We’re beyond excited to swing open our doors on April 2 with a Cold-Brew focused cafe in the city that put iced coffee on the map.

We’ve partnered with longtime friends at Ace Hotel to open on Carondelet Street, in the Warehouse district.

“When Ace asked us to join them in New Orleans, a city so many of us have long admired, we were stoked and went down there to check it out,” says Retail Vice President Matt Lounsbury. “After one look at the space, a really impressive Art Deco building that once housed a furniture factory, the decision was a no-brainer.”

Our new cafe stands tall in a former carriage house next to the warm and welcoming Ace NOLA. For our first outpost in the South, Stumptown New Orleans will focus on Cold Brew.

New Orleans has long been in the business of making iced coffee – historically cold brewed with chicory, stored in an empty mayonnaise jar and sweetened with milk and sugar. “We designed the menu as a tip of the hat to the city that put iced coffee and many iconic cocktails on the map,” explains Matt.

For the cafe design, we decided to rethink the way we’ve ever laid out a coffee bar. “We kept asking ourselves, what could a Cold Brew-focused coffee bar look like? In our wildest imagination, what could we serve and how could we serve it?”

We’ve spent the better part of the last six months in our Cold Brew lab working to sort it all out. For starters, we had an idea of what we wanted the tap to look like. But finding it wasn’t so easy.

“We’ve been carrying around a tattered picture of an old brass European tap for inspiration for over a year. Our team looked everywhere for anything like it but couldn’t find it,” Matt says.

Eventually, we had to ask a kegerator company to custom-make something for us. Double J, the Stumptown Service & Equipment lead on the project, was instrumental in pulling it all together, even sourcing marble tap handles from India for our seven-head brass and marble tap.

Next, we had to figure out what we’d be serving for our first Southern Cold Brew cafe. Our Cold Brew ops team has been working tirelessly to figure out what we could do that would be both simple and interesting.

“We went wild with ideas like Cold Brew pearls, date syrup, and a play on an egg cream soda, but we’re all pretty happy where we ended up,” explains Matt. Our retail GM Jason Overby had the idea to try to do everything on our menu hot and cold, which is where we landed with the “Cold Shot.”

The “Cold Shot” is a cold brewed Hair Bender concentrate infused with nitrogen and the result is the equivalent of a cold, creamy shot of espresso.

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Stumptown New Orleans will be debuting our first signature drink menu exclusive to this cafe for now. The “Cold Shot” will be used to mix up our drink specials menu, including the “Endless Summer,” a caffeinated take on the Mint Julep, and The “Duane Sorenson,” a Cold Brew Arnold Palmer named after our founder.

Each drink will be served in its own stemware, inspired by our love of Belgian beers and our stint in Amsterdam many moons ago, which led us to partnering with The Great Society to design the glassware.

The New Orleans cafe will also showcase new moves in our hot coffee program. For pour over fans, the sleek brass Mod Bar is an automatic answer to slow pour coffee. You’ll be able to order any single-origin or blend coffee on the menu brewed to order. A custom brass La Marzocco espresso machine will deliver shots of Hair Bender for the full espresso menu.

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A collaboration with design firm Roman and Williams informed the interior architecture, which falls in line with the aesthetic of the original Art Deco building. A brass-trimmed undulating light fixture inspired by 1960s Milan runs along the curve of the bar, a gesture to our New York counterpart cafe at Ace Hotel NYC. Our creative lead Jenny Censky designed all of the signage for our sign painter Pete McKearnan to hand-letter on doors, windows and entryways throughout the cafe.

The James Beard Award-nominated chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of the adjacent restaurant Josephine Estelle, blew us away with their custom pastry menu with French and Southern influences. Current seasonal offerings will include the buttery and must-have pecan croissant and the dreamy pimento cheese gougere.

The cafe opens on April 2 in a grand opening revelatory howl, celebrating with a brass band performance from The Roots of Music, a nonprofit that aims to empower the youth of New Orleans through music education, academic support, and mentorship while preserving and promoting the unique musical and cultural heritage of the city. All the profits on opening day will go to support The Roots of Music

610 Carondelet St., New Orleans. Open daily, from 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

Photography by Rush Jagoe.

Photography by Rush Jagoe.