Contractor John McMorris has been renovating and remodeling residential homes for years, but now he’s brewing up something a little bit different.
Instead of a fixing up a home for a family to live in, he is converting a house on 100 West in downtown Logan into a cafe called The West Side Coffee Company, slated to open this fall.
Co-owner Diane McMorris said she and her husband have always dreamed of opening a coffee shop together. When they found a house that was falling apart in downtown Logan, they saw an opportunity to revitalize the lot into a welcoming local business.
John McMorris said they kind of pigeonholed themselves by including the word “coffee” in the name, but the menu will include a variety of drink and food options with inspiration from both coasts. John McMorris grew up in Long Island with affordable New York deli breakfast sandwiches, and their daughter lives in San Diego, where acai bowls are popular.
“I think there is a desire for anything that is different in Logan,” Diane McMorris said.
They plan to offer Italian sodas, hot chocolate, tea, smoothies and chai. The Salt Lake Roasting Company will provide their house coffee, and they plan on offering a new guest roaster every month.
In the food department, The West Side Coffee Company will offer breakfast tacos, oatmeal, acai with fresh fruit and egg sandwiches. But McMorris said he expects his biggest seller will be homemade bagels.
When the cafe opens in late September or early October, McMorris said he will head into the shop early to bake bagels before heading off to renovate homes, at which point Diane would take over and manage the cafe.
McMorris said his goal is affordability. A staple of growing up in New York City was a $5 or $6 breakfast special that included a no-frills, fried egg sandwich, a coffee and an orange juice.
“They can just come get their breakfast and go,” he said.
The cafe will include plenty of outside seating. The front porch area will offer chairs, tables and a fire pit. In the back, a pergola will sit under the canopy of a tree behind three parking stalls, one built to Americans with Disability Act standards. He said he expects to have around 20 to 25 seats inside and another 20 outside.
Throughout the renovation, he said he wants to keep the old charm of the home. They will keep the wood floors, add wood-framed windows and a new roof but won’t change much else.
The news of a new coffee shop opening on the west side of Logan came with a warm reception from Logan business owner Mark Lunt. He said he was considering opening a cafe on 400 North just off Main Street, but he backed off when he heard someone else was “fighting that battle.”
“I feel like for downtown to be vibrant, we really need it,” Lunt said.
There are plenty of breakfast options in Logan, but he said spots like Caffe Ibis and The West Side Coffee Company can provide more of a community hub, where people are walking around their neighborhoods. Also, there aren’t many options right now for west-side residents.
“I view Main Street kind of as the gauntlet,” Lunt said. “No one wants to cross it from either side.”
Even with a large population of non-coffee-drinking members of the LDS Church in Logan, Lunt said he expects the variety of food and drink options as well as the cafe experience to attract everyone.
“I feel like, you go to Starbucks or the Ibis, and I feel like there’s people that don’t drink coffee but still like that environment,” he said.
With just two or three months until the expected opening date, Diane McMorris said she is both excited and scared for the new experience. The cafe has been a long time coming for the couple. John McMorris said if he wasn’t in construction, he would have opened a bike shop or a coffee shop years ago. When they stumbled upon the right location, they used it as an opportunity to share their passion.
“This was a fluke,” he said.