Look What's Brewing
New West 7th spot perks up district with coffee and cocktails
If you believe that there's more to coffee than a mere morning pick-me-up, you'll love Ampersand Cafe, a new coffee-shop-and-lounge opening in the fall on the far west edge of the West 7th area.
Ampersand, which is going into a vintage building on Bledsoe Street, comes from the creative and entrepreneurial Reham Choudhury, who is one of the folks behind Uptown Dallas lounge Citizen, and Stirr, a new restaurant opening soon in Deep Ellum. Ampersand will do the standard coffee and espresso drinks, but Choudhury has a vision of so much more.
"My family's been in the coffee business, and I've always wanted to open a coffee shop with a twist," he says. "Ampersand will bring a different touch to coffee. You can come in and get your regular coffee or cold brew, but we'll also have a curated list of 10-15 cocktails that are infused with coffee."
The combination of coffee and cocktails sets Ampersand apart from Avoca Coffee, also in West 7th, which does not serve alcohol. Mudsmith, which recently opened in the So7 District, serves beer and wine.
"Coffee lends itself to so many things," Choudhury says. "It doesn't have to stop at milk and sugar. You can pair it with something like smoked tequila or different beers. You can incorporate rum or whiskey and make it interesting."
He's been researching bars across the country who are doing similar things with coffee.
"I went a coffee festival in New York a few weeks ago, and I came away with so many items and ideas about ways to serve coffee and alcohol," he says.
That includes everything from infusions to fancy machines to a coffee happy hour where you pair shots with appropriate coffee varietals. It puts Fort Worth on the cutting-edge of coffee in DFW.
"I wanted to open this in Fort Worth because I fell in love with the culture, and my partners MRTD are in Fort Worth," Choudhury says. "I love how close it is, and how local it is. Fort Worth is so historical and they've kept it that way. Our roaster is local, and all of the decor will be from local artists. I feel like this is something Fort Worth would appreciate."