After our lunch at The Grit the other day, my friend Ruth and I found ourselves desiring an apres-meal coffee.
Anyway, I’d been anxious to get back to RedEye. One of my favorite logos in town–maybe ever–by the way.
Gregg Carey, the owner and operator of RedEye Coffee in Bottleworks, embodies everything I love about Athens businesses. He’s simultaneously unpretentious, passionate, and laid-back. It takes about five seconds of talking to him to know that he really cares about his product, his customer, and his business.
Every time I’ve been to this spacious cafe, which offers gelato and specialty sodas in addition to its gourmet coffee, the atmosphere has been very quiet. It’d be great for studyphiles or readers seeking refuge from Starbucks XM (*shudder*) or downtown madness.
I’m just a fan of some form of iced dessert being available wherever I am. Thumbs up for that.
There’s also outdoor seating:
I’m going to let Gregg explain RedEye to you (from his site), emphasis mine:
You will not find drive-through windows and five gallon coffee urns at Red Eye. What you will find is individually prepared coffees from the far reaches of the world, roasted no more than two weeks ago and fresh ground when you order. You will find espresso that is served as the delicious and complex “essence of coffee” that it is meant to be [sic] and not merely an additive to warm milk and sugary syrup. You will find baristas who pursue excellence and who want to share that passion their patrons. And you will find a comfortable environment to discover the beverage that artisans from the farmers to the roasters to the baristas have worked so hard to produce, instead of an environment that sees you as another wallet to sell swag to.
When I visited Gregg a few months ago, I suggested he open earlier than 8 AM, as I and hundreds of other University employees have to be AT work by that time. He’s listened and responded to this and other suggestions he’s received (he now opens at 7 AM–now I know I can come there for my morning fix!). Another beautiful aspect of the small, local business: adaptability to your customers’ needs and ideas.
**Correction: Gregg has recently decided to open at 8 AM. My point stands, though, because he tried opening earlier based on customers’ suggestions and his desire to meet their needs.