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Clintonville Bar Growl! to Share Space with New Business Johnny Coffee

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Clintonville Bar Growl! to Share Space with New Business Johnny Coffee
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Popups are proliferating. More and more brick-and-mortar businesses are hosting them on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. They usually only stay for a few hours, unpacking and packing up at the start and end of each shift. New coffee and espresso provider Johnny Coffee is taking a different route, partnering with Growl! in Clintonville to create a bar that’ll transition from coffee to booze every day.

Johnny Coffee co-owners Jaina Emerman and Stephen Morrow were coffee fanatics without a home.

“I guess that’s how this whole thing started,” Emerman said. “We were like, ‘Oh, my God, why do I have to go to the Short North to get a good latte?”

As residents of Clintonville, the two began a search for commercial space in the area, but found it wasn’t an easy task. In the interim between finding their own physical location, they decided to become a pop-up and contacted business owners around the neighborhood to gauge interest.

In reaching out to Phil Hamilton, co-owner of Growl!, they learned he was looking for a business to share his space. And not just for a few hours — Johnny Coffee will operate from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week, closing up an hour before Growl! is set to start serving. On Saturdays Johnny Coffee will open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., overlapping with Growl!

Emerman and Morrow will bring in coffee from Heart Coffee Roasters out of Portland, OR, but will go local with their baked goods, partnering with Freedom a la Cart for several of the menu items (to be determined). The two businesses connected in several ways, as two Freedom a la Cart owners are current clients at the salon where Emerman works, and Morrow serves at the cafe they opened inside the new Northside branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Along with baked goods, Freedom a la Cart offers box lunch and full-service catering, employing survivors of human trafficking and training them in culinary arts, hospitality, leadership development, sale operation, customer service education and barista service.

“We’re very excited about it, because they’re such a great business worthy of being talked about and spread,” Emerman said.

When Johnny Coffee does close, there will still be an opportunity to get their product. Their cold brew coffee will be on tap during Growl!’s open hours, and all the owners are considering a coffee & alcohol cocktail list as well.

Johnny Coffee is planning a grand opening on August 12, located inside Growl!, 2995 N. High St.

Visit the Facebook pages of Johnny Coffee and Growl! for more information.


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