MilkBoy Center City Coming Monday
The coffee shop will open a location on 11th and Chestnut on August 15.
With the August 15 opening of its Center City location, MilkBoy Coffee will leave the nest of the Main Line for the first time. Like any doting parent, co-owner Tommy Joyner sees the sky as the limit.
"We're trying to take it one step at a time, but I like to dream, like anybody," Joyner, who co-owns the shop along with fellow music entrepreneur Jamie Lokoff, told Patch. "I can picture some locations on college campuses and maybe other markets. But if you were to compare us to a venue that already exists, we're a lot more CBGB's than we are Hard Rock Cafe."
"One of the unique things is that it's a bar, it's not just a coffee shop. We have a full liquor license at this place," Joyner said. "We'll be able to do hospitality. We're mixing rock and roll and really good hospitality for people."
For the first couple weeks at least, it'll be all drinks, rock and roll, and hospitality: while MilkBoy will open its doors with a "soft" opening on August 15, it will be two weeks before its kitchen opens, then two more before Joyner and company celebrate their September 15 grand opening.
"We'll have the place rocking for a few weeks before we have our big opening," said Joyner.
He added that the opening of the new store, while exciting, isn't the first step in some master growth plan: for the coffee shop, the new location was a happy accident.
"It found us," admitted Joyner. "The city is very interested in this area of town and closing what they call the hole in the donut. So they made a loan available to the owner of this property if they found the right tenant."
The city had some stipulations for who this "right" tenant would be: a business that was visible, always open, not a chain, and had local ties—preferably a coffee shop, restaurant, or music venue.
"When they did a search on that, they came up with us. So they approached us for this."
And the rest is history, albeit an occasionally contentious one.
Because Joyner and Lakoff tabbed nonunion labor to construct the venue, their Ardmore location has been besieged by Philadelphia carpenters union protests since November.
"It's ongoing," said Joyner. "They're still out there protesting."
Three days out from the opening though, the protesters clearly haven't dampened his spirit too much.
"We're so psyched—it's gonna be so good for this neighborhood," Joyner said. "We're hiring a bunch of new people, there's a bunch of new jobs that are going to be created by this and it's really a cool thing."