“I designed this place sexy, like my face,” Ali Ghambari says to one of the first questions I ask him.
On July 5th, Ghambari opened up his eighth Cherry Street Coffee House, nestled on 12th Ave and James Ct in the Douglas Building. And boy is he stoked about it.
“Business has been kick-ass, if I’m just telling it like it is,” Ghambari says with a giant grin. But it isn’t just about the business for Ghambari. “If you are just going somewhere to make a dollar, I’m done with that shit. Whatever. I want to focus on bringing a little bit of love and positive energy to the community. That’s Cherry Street Coffee House’s focus. I’m good at that shit—bringing the love into the community.”
Objectively, his mantra seems to be working. For a new coffee house in an already saturated market, the coffee house has been visibly hopping since it opened. The straightforward combination of breakfast and lunch sandwich options, pastries, and a house blend of Dillano’s coffee roast seem to be drawing people into the Douglas—a building that has seemed a bit spectral with its lack of tenants this past year.
The menu features breakfasty bagel dishes that run on average around $3 to $4, mediterranean lunch sandwiches and salads around $7, and all your standard cafe beverages.
The interior is a mix of modern style with rough wood accents—as a coy nod to Cap Hill culture, part of a telephone pole stands in the middle of the cafe, covered in posters. A conference room with a sliding barn door and a large conference table lies in one corner of the shop, outdoor open air patio seating on the other.
Ghambari is particularly excited for the future of Cherry Street Coffee House in this location in particular. Come January, James Court Woonerf park is slated to open next door. The 7,332 square-foot park is designed so that pedestrians and cyclists will have priority over motorists.
“That means people are going to have to slow down when they come by here, which is great,” Ghambari says. “It’s going to build that community and make this a great place to be.”