In a recent interview with Josh Miller, founding owner of multimedia agency C&I Studios, he was a bit tight lipped on his latest venture Next Door, refusing to confirm any rumors floating about in FAT Village. One of those rumors was that Brew Urban Cafe was to open its coffee service inside C&I, and that C&I was about to expand its event space.
All Miller would say at the time was that what's to come would "blow people's minds."
He wasn't kidding. The idea agency and purveyor of slick events housed in FAT Village's artsy warehouse district, held a sneak peak Wednesday night for the media. Next Door is a complete transformation to the warehouse space that is located (literally) next door to C&I's existing 4,000-square-foot studio.
Rumors were confirmed that Brew Urban Cafe has set up shop inside with trained baristas ready to steam up some killer cappuccinos. So for Brew fans wondering why the Himmarshee shop was closed down several weeks ago, this is what owner Bob Denison meant when he said he had an exciting, new partnership underway.
The new venue includes seating and tables from the former Brew, so a nice nostalgic touch is present. Next Door will open officially with a bash 8 p.m. Friday, November 8, and the cafe portion of the new spot will run 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily starting on Saturday, November 9. The focus is to serve up traditional style espresso drinks, like a gourmet six-ounce cappuccino according to Brew barista, Dan Franklin.
Since Brew had closed its downtown location, co-owner Dani Denison shared that when she's at the shop's Victoria Park outpost, "Our customers ask us at least ten times a day, 'where's the new store?' And it was so hard not to tell them, because we are excited to work with Josh and C&I, but we wanted to keep the new opening as a secret and surprise everyone."
Now the new spot gets even sweeter. In addition to the cafe, the long-wooden bar installed in front of a vintage-style library backdrop will also function as a full-liquor bar open 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, as well as during Heat games.
The menu features craft cocktails served up in mason jars, options like the Aaron Sorkin, a concoction of gin, cucumber, lime, simple syrup, ginger and Prosecco. Fancy sodas and "straight edge" cocktails are also featured along with wine. Riverside Market is curating the beer menu of which Julian Siegel says, "I intend to change it up season to season, so they have a new and fresh beer selection."
Next Door will not simply be a place to grab a beverage - even a gourmet one. The venue will also be equipped with a photography studio, and a silver airstream brought in from Lakeland is installed alongside it which will serve as a recording studio for musicians.
The idea is to create a co-working and community gathering spot that, as Miller explains, "There's no other place like this, where you can have a drink and see a photoshoot go on, an artist painting, and a musician creating music."
The inviting decor consists of pieces his crew found in D.C., NYC, and L.A., offering a warm atmosphere far removed from typical South Florida. An interesting design detail, is that there are two doors: one to enter the cafe area, and the other to enter the studio space. There's a long hallway that leads to the cafe and gives a speakeasy feel. An outside section features hightop wooden tables, tree lights, street art, and will host food trucks.
During the month of November, Next Door will provide free studio rental space, and then rental fees begin at $50 per an hour. Operation hours for studio space is still being worked out.
Come out and see Next Door at its opening bash, 8 p.m. Friday, November 8. Visit www.c-istudios.com. Admission is free.
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