Starbucks’s renovation of their East Olive Way location has drawn quite a bit of attention to the Hill; it is certainly hard to miss their faux-Pike Place signage. But just down the street, tucked a little deeper into the old slope of I-5 Shores, a different kind of coffee shop is taking form: Analog Coffee.
Two long time friends, Danny Hanlon and Tim Hayden, are in the process of transforming the old fitness gym space at the corner of Summit and Thomas into a small, independent coffee shop. The name is a reflection of the partners’ goal: a barista-run establishment with a focus on simple, hand-crafted coffee. “Lots of the coffee places around Seattle have grown pretty fast,” Hayden says, explaining that while they still make good coffee their focus has shifted to the company rather than the product. Analog on the other hand, will be one-of-a-kind, with no plans to expand elsewhere. “We’ll be the only two employees. You’ll see us here every day, making coffee,” Hanlon said.
Both baristas have been in the coffee business for over a decade. Most recently Hanlon has managed Magnolia’s Upper Crust Bakery and Cafe, while Hayden has been a manager (and still is for the next few weeks) atHerkimer Coffee on Phinney Ridge. Herkimer will supply the beans to Analog, beans that Hillites may be familiar with from TNT and Porchlight Coffee. Analog will serve pour-overs, french press, and, of course, espresso, which will be made on a Seattle-created but world-renowned Synesso machine. Hanlon says that they hope to serve some pastries as well, but aren’t sure about that aspect, yet.
The opening of their little shop on Summit will be the completion of a nearly three year process of weekly planning meetings, saving money, and looking for a location. “We’ve been searching for a space now for over a year, but when we walked into this one we instantly new it was the perfect spot,” Hayden said.
Hayden and Hanlon are currently in the midst of building out the space and getting permits from the city, a process they say has been quite a learning experience. Luckily they have had a lot of support, especially from Herkimer. “There have been a few rumors going around that Herkimer is opening a Capitol Hill location because people have seen the truck up here. But they have just been nice enough to let us use it, mostly for hauling lumber.” Hanlon explains. There is still a lot of work to be done but the pair hope to open for business sometime in early 2011 according to Hayden, “yeah, that seems vague enough.”