SPoT on Elmwood has opened its new space, and the former location is getting the finishing touches that will allow faithful patrons to enjoy the coffee shop as a whole this coming Thursday.
According to Vice President of Facilities Luke Goetz, it’s been a long time coming, but SPoT fans are sure to think the new build-out is worth waiting for. There will be two entrances, a revved up menu including pizzas (like in the Toronto and Williamsville SPoT locations), Belgian waffles and breakfast all day, with plenty of lounge space – and best of all for some of us – WiFi will be available.
The new space is bright and airy, and Goetz says it will be more of a lounge area, while the adjacent former space will be more of a cafe and to-go venue. The register will be placed centrally in the large, u-shaped counter, with plenty of serving action on both sides.
Goetz says it was important to him and the owners of SPoT to recreate the space with a nod to its former tenant, New World Records. “New World was such a great place and we wanted to keep the rock and roll spirit of it,” he explains. And so, beginning with signage, they commissioned steel artist, Jeff Gabriel
, who did the New World Sign to do the same for SPoT.
In addition to bringing Gabriel back, Brad Wales
, the original architect for the two spaces was brought in to meld the spaces further. Whereas Wales first created a gateway between SPoT and New World that would blend the two spaces, he’s now brought elements from each into the other, in order to join them in a new way. He’s added a platform in the front windows of the new space for balance, and carried over steel elements into the original SPoT.
The platform in the new lounge has hinged steel railings that will be folded back to form a stage for live music that Goetz will be bringing in on a regular basis – more homage to the coffee/music marriage. He says that like the SPoT on Chippewa, this lounge area will be available for party rental. Artwork from various local artists will line the walls on a rotating basis, the current installation being that of Claire Marrone, complete with a price list of pieces for sale.
Structurally, Goetz says customers will be thrilled with the new bathrooms also, which took over the raised area in the back of the original coffee shop. There will be multiple stalls and little, if any, wait.
The entire back wall of the lounge is covered in a mural by local artist Jeremy Maxwell
, who was a SPoT barrista back in the 90s on Chippewa. There, he was shown the ropes by then SPoT employee Joshua Assad of Babik fame. In fact, Assad had Maxwell design the art for the band’s first major release, Django Reinhardt
In keeping with Goetz’s wish to blend new and old, coffee and music, he was inspired to commission Maxwell, not only for his past and ongoing relationship with SPoT, but because he liked the design Maxwell turned out for last summer’s Music is Art Festival
. Still in progress, though nearly complete, Maxwell has been working on the mixed media mural since Thanksgiving, and just knocked off a “days” work at 4:30 this morning.
Maxwell says part of the late hours have to do with the noxious nature of the graffiti spray he’s using, and the rest is a burning desire to transfer what’s in his mind’s eye, to the wall. “I’ve never worked on a scale this big, but it’s been in my head – it comes out in my dreams – and I’m just so happy to be able to do this.”
Starting with a projector and line work, Maxwell has been spraying and doing brushwork on the soon-to-be-finished project that will serve as a happy and permanent backdrop to the new lively space.
Goetz is pleased with the extra space in all of its glory, saying, “It allows us to do what we want. It gives us the room our already loyal customer base needs – to stretch out and hang out.” Other than that, Goetz says, “I’d like to thank our customers and staff for putting up with the drills, the jackhammers, the moving of the seats, but it’s nice to have people waiting for us.”
A little time spent in the new digs, and all will be forgotten, Luke.
765 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222-1567