The owners of the building at 818 W. 46th St. miss Java Jack’s. So they’re reverting the office space into a coffee shop and wine bar called Studio 2, pending city approval.
With a target opening date of late August, nearby residents David Hussman and Andie Thomas are excited to reopen the doors to the public and recreate a version of the coffee shop they frequented.
“We’re pining for the vibe,” said Hussman. “What we don’t want to do is have another high-end restaurant.”
Instead, they’re envisioning Peace Coffee, beer and wine service and simple bites, with a menu by Michael Rostance. Rostance is the former longtime chef at Broders’ Pasta Bar, and he coordinates Italian food and wine tours with The Umbrian Table. (Thomas was one of the first servers at Broders, and it’s the restaurant where she and Hussman met.)
The name Studio 2 is a nod to the London music studio where The Beatles recorded Abbey Road.
Renovation work is underway, with new tables made of reclaimed wood and a long “family-style” table, art-decked walls, a corner “crash pad,” and perhaps a large chalkboard for kids to decorate.
Hussman took over the building when Jack’s closed, and he’s since used it for his DevJam company headquarters. DevJam staff work as contract software developers, consultants and teachers. The company also sponsors Geekettes, a global organization supporting women in technology, and hosts “hackathons” for coders with Open Twin Cities.
So instead of stocking shelves with board games, Hussman wants to stock Lego robotics kits and circuit board toys.
“We’re hoping to be a little hub of tech activity,” he said.
Hussman and Thomas have always been interested in keeping the building open to the community. Since Jack’s closed, they have rented co-working spaces, leased space to tenants like Red Stamp and the Carolyn Foundation, hosted students from Barton Elementary working in robotics, and launched a commercial kitchen for startups to share.
The couple has lots of new ideas for Studio 2 as well. They would like to devote a shelf to local “makers,” such as the commercial kitchen’s Schmancy Snacks that complement craft beers and cocktails. They would also like to offer classes on healthy food for people undergoing major life changes, and provide cooking classes for parents and kids to take together.
“These are 20 small things that are right, and we can afford to do,” Hussman said. “We’re more interested in what’s right than what’s profitable.”