I’m asking for a show of hands. Those of you who are old enough to remember a world before gourmet coffee shops became all the rage in America, did you ever think getting your hands on a cup of coffee would become as ritualistic as it has these days? I definitely didn’t.
On the rare occasion I find myself standing in line at Starbucks, sometimes I just have to laugh at what has become of the cup of coffee. It’s a language all its own. Baristas screaming out names followed by descriptions of a drink that seem to come from deeper and deeper in the Amazon every time you turn around. And no, I’m not talking mail order.
Coffeehouses are big business. That might be the understatement of the year. Here in Savannah, we have a few Starbucks to choose from. But we also have a number of locally owned spots doing a great job as well.
Everyone has their favorites in town. Savannah Coffee Roasters, The Sentient Bean or The Foundery Coffee Pub are but three of the local spots that all do very well and are very popular. However, by the end of the year, if you spend any kind of regular time in and around downtown Savannah, you are going to be hard pressed to not enjoy a cup of coffee from the Fox family. Yes, they have more baby Foxes on the way, and it will be pretty hard not to notice.
For perspective’s sake, a little bit of background is in order. Back in 2011, Foxy Loxy opened on Bull Street near the library. It was a space we hadn’t seen before for coffee. It was an instant hit. The coffees were creative, the munchies in many cases freshly baked.
Not long after that, about a year or so, they expanded to Broughton Street. For all of the fears that Broughton was going to be taken over by huge corporate names, try walking into The Coffee Fox late on a weekend morning. Local is alive and well, and that is a good thing. Now, the “Fox Empire,” if you will, is expanding into two new spaces.
Fox & Fig is under construction as we speak in the ground floor of the Savannah Law School on Abercorn Street at Huntingdon. It wasn’t all that long ago that Huntingdon Street was cut off by an eyesore of an apartment building. The building is still there, but the street now cuts through to Drayton and Forsyth Park. On that corner will be Savannah’s first 100 percent vegan full service restaurant. Yes, all vegan and everything that comes with that.
The plan for Fox & Fig is to open in two phases. There will be a coffeeshop on one side much like you will find at Foxy Loxy on Bull Street or The Coffee Fox on Broughton. That should be open by May. In the fall, you can expect a full brunch menu all day long with 10-13 items, including full entrees such as burgers, plus beer and wine. All of it vegan.
Yes, you read correctly. I did say “burger,” but no one said anything about beef. Fox & Fig will be all vegan, including a coconut cream milkshake being created by our friends at Leopold’s Ice Cream.
Meanwhile, up the road on Bull near 32nd Street is the space that will serve as a production hub for all of these Foxes. This space will be called Henny Penny. Henny Penny is a little more widely known as Chicken Little. You know, the original YouTube star? Twenty million Instagram followers by telling people the sky was falling? Hey, people become famous for less these days.
Henny Penny should be up and running by mid-April and will largely be a bakery and coffee production operation from which all of the Foxes will get their fresh-baked goodness. To this point, it’s all being done down the street at Foxy Loxy, with bakers arriving at 11 p.m. and working through the night to supply their storefronts with enough product. Henny Penny will have a tiny storefront so you can grab a quick bite or a cup of coffee, but its primary function will be to have a large enough bakery space to not only provide enough to their coffee spaces, but also expand their options as well.
Saturation with all this coffee? Not if you ask me. At the rate this city is filling in — and there are a ton of indications that it is, including townhouses, hotels and apartment buildings wherever someone can fit one — we might just need a cup of coffee or three to keep up with it all. Options are always good.
See you on TV,
Veritas Academy is putting together a fundraiser March 31. It’s called “Taste of the Classics.” Guests will be taken via trolley to one of the participating restaurants, including Vic’s on the River, DeSoto Grille, The Collins Quarter and many more. The evening will wrap up at The Club at Savannah Harbor with dessert, music, a silent auction and a good time. Call 912-238-1222 for ticket information.
’Tis the season for farmers: Wilmington Island Farmers’ Market opened a couple of weeks ago. Richmond Hill Farmers’ Market will get going March 28 at J.F. Gregory Park. They’ll be out there from 2-6 p.m. every Tuesday afternoon.
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