A coffeehouse with artist coworking space is coming soon to a historic mansion in downtown Easton.
Three Birds Coffee House is expected to open by the end of the year at 226 Bushkill St., according to Jennifer Murray, who will operate the business with her partner, Joe Langdon.
“Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’d like to have an open house or host a few events for the holiday season,” Murray said. “We’re hoping to be fully open in January.”
The three-story structure, built in 1862, is known as the Bull Mansion due to longtime resident James Bull, a prominent merchant who operated Easton’s former Bush & Bull department store on the northwest corner of Centre Square, where Family Dollar is now located, with his partner, Solomon Bush.
The 7,200-square-foot, 26-room mansion also housed Adams Funeral Home from 1943 to 1993 and, most recently, Noble Art Pianos, but it has been vacant for the past few years.
Since purchasing the property in April, Langdon, a West Chester native, and Murray, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, have made several improvements to their upstairs living space and soon-to-be business on the ground floor.
Renovations include new electrical wiring and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
With each update, the couple aims to “maintain the home’s historic character,” including the crown molding, fireplaces, glass chandeliers, stained glass windows and Honduran mahogany wall paneling, Murray said.
“We really lucked out,” Murray said. “When you look for a space for your business, you imagine a cozy, hospitable and welcoming spot where people want to hang out. And many times, you walk into either a blank canvas or place someone else has already designed and you have to modify. Here, our job was pretty much done for us because there is so much rich history that we plan to put front and center and not change.”
Seating for 25-30 customers will be available in two spaces.
The main room, connected to a smaller room housing the ordering counter, will feature vintage wooden chairs surrounding tables.
“According to the woman who was selling [the chairs] online, they were originally in the Bethlehem Steel board room,” Langdon said.
A second room off of the hallway will feature more of a lounge atmosphere with couches and upholstered chairs.
A large table for business meetings and other group functions will be situated in the room’s bay window, Langdon said.
Both rooms’ hardwood flooring will be refinished and wallpaper will be replaced with warm-colored paint.
Artist coworking space, featuring drafting tables, an etching press, book press and other equipment, will be housed in a few rooms at the rear of the building.
“It will be a space for people in the community to use as they see fit,” Murray said. “I’d love for people to get in the rhythm of using it on a daily or weekly basis.”
In order to implement an open-concept feel, Langdon and Murray plan to cut out a window in the wall between the artist space and coffeehouse, as well as a second doorway between the hallway and the room housing the ordering counter
The couple, who will be baristas, purchased a new espresso machine and plans to offer a wide variety of specialty coffee beverages using coffee from Lancaster’s Passenger Coffee.
“We researched and taste-tested coffee from nearly every coffee supplier in the area and we really liked Passenger,” Langdon said.
“More and more, it seems people like of lot transparency when it comes to knowing where their coffee comes from,” Murray added. “And Passenger has formed direct relationships with farmers all over the world, providing customers with extensive information about each that is readily available on their website.”
Other drinks such as teas, hot chocolate, lemonade and kombucha will be available, along with a small food menu, consisting of primarily local pastries and breads.
“We might do a cheese plate or something like that, but no sandwiches,” Langdon said.
Three Birds, whose name was inspired by the couple’s pet birds, will be open six days a week.
Hours have not been finalized, but Langdon and Murray are thinking of opening the coffeehouse around 7 a.m. and keeping it open through the evening.
“We’ve gotten a little bit of a sense that there is some demand for 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours, especially for the non-bar crowd,” Murray said. “There is kind of a lack of places around here to just hang out, chat, read a book or do a little bit of evening work.”
Three Birds, which will offer free wireless internet, will supplement a handful of other Easton coffeehouses, including Quadrant Book Mark & Coffee House, Terra Café and Fieldstone Coffee Roasters and Tea in the Easton Public Market.
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