Among the more interesting food and drink operations that I’m eagerly anticipating is Harken Coffee in Railtown/Japantown. The 1,700 sqft area at 338 Powell St. is somewhat behind schedule, but such is life using a classic building that has been stripped down to its first brick.
I toured the distance now with Eldric Stuart (pictured above), the java whisperer behind Chinatown’s celebrated Aubade Coffee store. He will be in charge of creating the coffee program for Harken, performing everything from sourcing green java and directing the roasting to personnel training and keeping up a high standard for every cup. In addition to attracted shots, I’m told we could expect lots of pour-over action as well as 10 different cold drip machines operating at once.
Besides coffee, the newcomer will be serving Japanese-inspired, shojin ryori-style vegan meals from a little kitchen run by chef Kris Barnholden (previously of Bows x Arrows, now in The Diamond). “Shojin ryori” translates as”meals of devotion”; it’s a cuisine created over many centuries by Zen Buddhist monks and a step-parent into the kaiseki mode of dining. No matter the specific case, it’s great that there will be more Japanese food coming to Japantown (see too Dosanko), also I can’t wait to find out how the concept develops and ultimately comes to fruition. Barnholden is really passionate about local products and seasonality, so the food here should be really intriguing.
To get a refresher on the concept, here is what I wrote concerning the location back in October, 2018, in addition to the series of photographs I took last week.
The distance is presently vacant and has been for a year now, but items will accelerate as fall turns to winter and they begin construction. They’ve got by that I mean past Kris and Eldric, and experienced talent also. Simcic + Uhrich Architects (watch Brassneck, Timbertrain, Juniper, etc.) is performing the layout, which sounds very interesting (three window booths along with a coffee bar for a total of 16 seats), whereas Milltown (see Rhinofish, Mak N Ming, Bells & Whistles, etc.) is your general contractor.