Who makes the best coffee in Houston? For true caffeine connoisseurs, the answer is often David Buehrer, more commonly known as Greenway Barista for his underground shop Greenway Coffee & Tea in the business complex.
Now Buehrer and partner Ecky Prabanto are bringing their coffee skills to a wider audience, announcing plans to open Blacksmith Coffee Bar in the former Mary's Naturally space on the lower Westheimer curve. It's a partnership with the owners of neighboring Underbelly and Hay Merchant, who had been hinting at finding a good use for the building.
"Mary's Naturally was a natural choice — this historic building has been the cultural center of Montrose for some time, and we hope to keep the Montrose vibe of housing passionate artisans intact, to the best of our abilities," Buehrer wrote on the Greenway Coffee website. Blacksmith will serve food and also incorporate its Greenway Coffee roasting company products, according to Buehrer:
First and foremost we will be a coffee shop. Our focus has always been a commitment of quality and support to the specialty coffee industry and we will continue to pursue these dreams with Blacksmith. We had a special opportunity with Mary's to add a small kitchen — this excites us. We love food. Seriously. To say that we are undeniable food fanatics would be like pointing out the stripes on a tiger. Coffee, spirits and food just go hand in hand so well and our relationships with the Anvil team has been no accident. It was built from respect of each other in our unique and special niche industries."
And the name? According to Buehrer, it "reflects a kindred spirit among baristas and the antiquated laborers who sought to craft something by hand with uncompromising quality and attention to detail.”
Blacksmith is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012, and Buehrer lists future hours as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Are you a Greenway Coffee fan? What do you think about the new plans for Mary's?