A coffee shop that's been a Lake Highlands hidden find has new owners willing to give it a shot. Drake's BrewHouse opened in early September at 8499 Greenville Ave., in a loping little center at the southwest corner of Royal Lane. The most recent occupant in the space was a short-timer called Urban Coffee Cafe — but it was the preceding shop, called Cafe Silva, that established a following of customers ready to embrace whatever's in the space.
Cafe Silva owner Masoom Khan is currently in Italy, but he retains a connection to the space, says Drake's owner Randi Drake.
"He had a great following," she says. "He did all of these great things like brewing his coffee over chocolate bars to add something special. He had another person interested in the space but he favored us because we wanted to do coffee."
That said, the coffee thing is still new to them, and so they kept much of the shop as it was, including an inherited La Cimbali espresso machine.
Randi is doing the shop with the help of her mother who lives in Fort Worth; she lives in Red Oak. It's a bit of a hike for both, but the location's assets makes it worth their while.
"We looked at spaces around Dallas-Fort Worth, but this location had the right water quality for good coffee, and an affordable rent," Randi says. "We're in an interesting location. We have some neighboring residents and businesses, and we also back up to a large greenspace that includes a golf course and White Rock Creek."
There is a Starbucks a few blocks east on Royal at the northeast corner of Abrams Road, but otherwise, there aren't too many other coffee spots nearby. Drake's gets its beans from Addison Coffee Roasters and they're doing brewed coffee, espresso and specialty drinks, as well as steamers sans coffee.
"The White Rock Creek bicycle trail runs right behind us, so we see a lot of bicyclists," Randi says. "So we are catering to the bicycling community with a line of fruit waters, which combine fruit with honey water. It's very refreshing. We do iced coffees, frappes, and a few smoothies."
One thing they didn't anticipate was the large number of people wanting lunch; they're open from 7 am to 5 pm Monday-Saturday. "We did put paninis on the menu, and on September 23, we're going to add some breakfast sandwiches, because people in this complex really seem to want it," she says.
That's their real goal, to respond to the neighbors' needs, from the moms seeking a place to camp mid-day to commuters on the go.
"One of the reasons I wanted to do a coffee shop is because of clientele," Randi says. "You see people walk in all dreary, because getting coffee is everyday life, and hope that when they leave, they say, 'That was an amazing experience.' Getting coffee is a luxury; anyone can make it at home. We want to be here for people who want to get out of their home."