Char & Stave, the local roastery and café-by-day, cocktail bar-by-night, from Bluebird Distilling founder Jared Adkins, has opened in Chestnut Hill.
Char & Stave, the local roastery and café-by-day, cocktail bar-by-night, from Bluebird Distilling founder Jared Adkins, has opened its second location in historic Chestnut Hill – just in time for the neighborhood’s iconic Fall for the Arts Festival on Sunday.
The new coffee shop and bar celebrated its grand opening on National Coffee Day, September 29, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m.
To mark the opening, Char & Stave offered complimentary cups of drip coffee, made with their Everyday roast, at both their Chestnut Hill and original Ardmore locations.
The Chestnut Hill Char & Stave will be open 7 days a week, with hours that transition from a bright coffee shop by day to a chic cocktail lounge at night – staying open till midnight on Friday and Saturday nights and offering a happy hour cocktail discount from 4 to 6 p.m. during the week.
“Chestnut Hill is a natural fit for our brand expansion,” Adkins said. “We’re going to bring killer café programming during the day, in addition to being the community’s only late-night cocktail bar.”
Adkins roasts his beans at the Bluebird Distilling facility in Phoenixville using a process inspired by whisky aging. The new location will showcase Bluebird spirits along with its signature coffee and cocktail menus.
Menu highlights include bourbon barrel-aged coffee, the Whiskey Smash Latte with salted caramel, and cocktails like the Caffe Negroni with nitro cold brew.
"The concept, the look and the mood were just right for us,” said Ann Nevel, retail advocate for the Chestnut Hill Business District. “Last Holiday season, in the period between the signing of their lease and the start of their remodeling of the space, Char & Stave opened on a preview basis for our Holiday shopping nights. There were long lines and happy customers. Now that the renovation is complete, the space is fitted out and looking gorgeous, and the staff is ready to go – it will be clear that Char & Stave has been well worth the wait.”
The Chestnut Hill opening comes on the heels of several major expansions for Adkins' businesses. He recently launched national e-commerce and shipping for both Bluebird Distilling and Char & Stave, expanding from 4 to 41 shipping states. Adkins was also named to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list.
Bluebird Distilling spirits and Char & Stave coffee beans can now be purchased online and shipped nationwide in addition to their physical locations. "Fans of our coffee can now come to Ardmore or Chestnut Hill to try our roasts in person and grab a bag on their way out, or get our beans delivered straight to their doorstep through our website," said Adkins.
Adkins founded Bluebird Distilling in 2015 to produce small-batch whiskies and other craft spirits such as gin and rum using a hybrid copper still. Some of Bluebird's accolades include their popular Four Grain Bourbon and collaboration with country musician Jordan Davis on Bluebird Days Whiskey.
The inspiration for Char & Stave came from noticing the similarities between coffee roasting and whisky aging – both of which have a “strikingly similar” process, Adkins said. All coffee beans are roasted at Bluebird Distilling in Phoenixville, with the Barrel Aged series set to age for approximately three weeks, and then transported for consumption and sale to Char & Stave.
By expanding Char & Stave to Chestnut Hill, Adkins is bringing his unique concept of "coffee made by whiskey people" to a new community – and joining Philadelphia's flourishing craft spirits and coffee scene.
"I'm thrilled to be getting both our booze and beans in more people's hands,” Adkins said.