We weren’t the only ones curious about the “Interiors/Floral/Café” signage in the windows of the former Cloud Seven Coffee space. Puzzled passerby have been streaming into Christopher David Experience Design, basking in the scent of freshly cut flowers, the taste of bitter espresso, and the visual splendor of the elaborately decorated interior.
CDExD indulges the senses in a way that’s unexpected but instantly charming, and after an initial visit, the interiors/floral/café combination seems not only reasonable, but downright smart. What did we do before we could sip a macchiato while browsing for alligator heads?
Christopher David Experience Design is the most recent of several creative collaborations that insert coffee shops into unusual, multifunctional spaces. Whether you’re shopping for wall sconces or sampling wine, these clever cafes have your espresso needs covered.
+ flowers and interior design: CDExD packages three sensory-based businesses into one convenient Pearl District location. Designer Chris Giovarelli, who curates the stunning space, works in the shop’s north end, perched under a dozen different CDExD logos. Florist Cosmin Bisorca arranges fresh blossoms in his verdant space along the west wall. And Kevin Nichols, formerly of Water Avenue Coffee, presides over the gleaming espresso bar. See our slide show below for a sneak peek at this innovative space. 901 NW 10th Ave.
+ wine: Enso Winery joined forces with Water Avenue Coffee in June to add a caffeinated component to the urban winery SE Stark Street location. Enso's tasting lounge now doubles as a daytime coffee bar—the chic urban space pours espresso beverages until 1 or 2pm, when it reverts to a wine-tasting area. Collaborative tastings and wine-coffee pairings are in the works as well. 1416 SE Stark St.
+ bikes: Phuong Tran was the first female US Barista Champion back in 2005, and we’re honored that she now serves shots of espresso in our neck of the woods. Tran opened Maglia Rosa last year, a microcafe located inside SW Start Street's West End Bikes. Maglia Rosa—an Italian phrase meaning “the pink jersey”—also caters to its cycling clientele with a bike-through street counter for passing commuters. 1111 SW Stark St.
+ light fixtures: When Ristretto Roasters opened its third café next to the showroom of an isolated NW warehouse, critics called the move risky at best. Nearly two years later, however, the coffee house is thriving. Tucked away in the Schoolhouse Electric building, the open industrial space manages to read “cool” rather than “cold.” The location even offers free coffee cuppings on Saturday afternoons. 2181 NW Nicolai St.
+ conscience: After 40 years of disuse, the historic Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church threw open its bell tower doors and beckoned the community inside. Volunteers founded TaborSpace in 2009 as a nonprofit coffee house and grassroots community center, offering everything from yoga classes to Mandarin lessons on a donation basis. Despite the ostensible limitations of a pay-what-you-can model and volunteer baristas, TaborSpace offers high-quality goods, from Ristretto Roasters coffee to Bakeshop pastries. 5441 SE Belmont St.
Check out our CDExD slide show below, complete with quotes from the man himself!