Photo Credit: Hillary Brown
1000 Faces' new location.
After a bit more than 10 years in business, 1000 Faces Coffee seems to be outgrowing its Barber Street space. Rather than move farther from the center of town, seeking more square footage, it's going right into the thick of things, renovating the interior of a historic building at Thomas and Dougherty downtown.
Co-owner Jan Kozak had also been looking for a place in which to start CrossFit Liberate, a gym focused on the trendy fitness regimen. He approached the Porterfield family, who owned the building at 510 N. Thomas St. that was the original location of Athens Seed Co. and most recently housed Good Dirt, about renting some of the space there, liking the downtown location. The answer was disappointing: The building was under contract to be sold, and all the spaces were already leased out. Happily enough, Kozak got a call two months later that the deal had fallen through and, rather than merely lease the space he wanted, he and his business partners decided just to buy the thing.
The building has two floors, a main one and a basement level, which will be divided into four spaces. 1000 Faces will take the one closest to Thomas Street, where there are large windows and a steadily increasing stream of foot traffic. CrossFit Liberate will sort of wrap around the coffee roaster, taking up about 6,500 square feet. In the lower level, Lindsey's Culinary Market, currently in Normaltown, will take one space, and the other, which seems to have housed band practice in the past, judging from the graffiti, is still available.
The result should be a 60 percent expansion for 1000 Faces, which will add another machine for roasting, as well as an improvement in its front-of-house experience. Kozak's goal is something more like Hugh Acheson's Spiller Park Coffee, in Atlanta, with light food options (toasts and such) as well as fine coffee. He says Lindsey's aims to serve a sit-down lunch as well as continue its catering services, and will have a private dining room for rent. There's parking in the back, and Kozak and his partners plan to lease more from First American Bank during its off-hours.
CrossFit Liberate will have classes and memberships and make good use of the barrel-vaulted ceiling by hanging some ropes and gymnastics trusses from the beams. The business partners have hired Grahl Construction and Katrina Evans of E+E Architecture to do the build-out, which involves replacing some bricked-up windows with glass and, of course, adding air conditioning. Their goal is to have everyone ready for business by late August or early September.
Kozak says he's pleased that he and his partners can preserve the building and, while he doesn't say we've officially reached peak luxury-student-apartment saturation, he suggests it's a possibility. They also still have a letter of intent on the corner space of the planned St. Joseph's development—for a possible Athens location of Vortex Doughnuts—but that's some way in the future.