Ristretto Roasters is continuing their expansion. After opening their first cafe in 2005 and the second in 2008, they are now aiming to open a third retail location in Northwest Portland’s Industrial District. If all goes well, the new café at 2181 NW Nicolai Street, will open in early December.
Portland’s Northwest Industrial District is home to heavy and light industry, fabricators and artisans, tile makers and distilleries. Like New York’s SoHo in the early 1970s, intrepid tenants are moving into the area’s many historic buildings, including 2181 NW Nicolai.
The four-story, 100,000-square-foot building was built in 1910, as warehouse for the Pacific Hardware and Steel rolling mill. Developer Brian Faherty, owner of Schoolhouse Electric, makers of high-end lighting, purchased the building last year. Faherty, a longtime fan of Ristretto, asked them to anchor the building.
The new café will be situated between the building’s two entrances, gateway to 12,500-square-feet of open space comprising Schoolhouse Electric’s retail floor, as well as a design library of books and interactive materials, available for day-use. The remodel of the ground floor incorporates many of the building’s original materials: massive old growth timber beams and lumber are being used throughout, rolled steel floors and file rollers will become counter accents, dividers and shelving, and even old card catalogs are being re-purposed as benches. Schoolhouse Electric will provide lighting from its large collection.
Ristretto is coordinating the design of the espresso bar and café with Scott Davidson and Keith Schrader, two principals with Portland-based Bamboo Revolution’s design arm, Accelerated Development, whose work also includes Coava Coffee
and Barista. This cafe has garnered international attention and media coverage, and with Ristretto’s new café, Schrader says he is “seeking to outdo” his previous work.
The café will carry a selection of retail coffee accoutrement for home use, including grinders, presses and pour-over systems. All of the 2181 NW Nicolai branch, is dedicated to staying green. Coffee products will be recycled and composted, cleaners will be organic, and a high-efficiency/low-loss water system, and LEED-certified appliances are being used throughout.
[Nancy Rommelmann, a former contributor to this site, works as Ristretto Roasters business manager.]