Photo by Neil Strebig
The Deutschtown coffee shop is aiming to revitalize the surrounding community, one java at a time.
By Neil Strebig
A booming voice greets each new customer from behind the polished pine counter top with a simple salutation, “How you doing?”
Then Chris Waraks extends his hand, introduces himself and welcomes each patron into his coffee shop – into his neighborhood– with a friendly smile.
Sitting on the corner of Chestnut Street and Spring Garden Avenue, where the old Deutschtown crimson-brick trolley line comes to a halt, is The Kaffeehaus Café, the Northside’s newest addition. The grand opening will be on June 10.
“We wanted something for the neighborhood,” said owner Chris Waraks. “We wanted something that would get things moving for the neighborhood.”
Waraks is a Spring Hill native who is adamant about changing the current appearance of his local neighborhoods from the run-down, forgotten properties decorating the streets beyond the I-279 junction into a destination. He wants The Kaffeehaus Café to be the catalyst to something more.
“[We] don’t want to see another coffee and cigarette shop, we want to offer something different, something fresh,” Waraks said.
In conjunction with his construction business, Mr. Renovation, Warack and his team have remodeled a number of properties in the immediate area and held an open house for the café on Sunday, May 21 in part of a 13 property Open House tour throughout the immediate Deutschtown and Troy Hill area. Waraks hopes that The Kaffeehaus Café and his neighboring properties can become a focal point in the improvement of East Deutschtown’s current landscape.
The cafe, which was formerly a barbershop, offers customers fresh-baked goods, ‘Duetschtown Dunkel Coffee’ and ‘Tripoli Tea’ on tap and is also including a monthly art installation for local artists.
The walls at the Kaffeehaus are currently decorated with the paintings of Corey William Cook, Waraks’ nephew who passed away last year. Waraks explained that he was a big part of The Kaffeehaus project and wanted to pay his respects by showcasing his nephew’s work. Waraks aims to offer monthly installations in addition to hosting evening openings for new artists as they spread their creative prowess across the coffee shop’s corridors.
The Kaffeehaus Café will be open six days a week and will feature the culinary talents of Warack’s wife, Tammy. For more information on hours of operation and new events, visit their Facebook page.