Coffee shops have prevailed despite the coronavirus, but few are as charming or sharply conceived as Window Seat, a coffee spot that recently debuted at 3018 Greenville Ave., in a former clothing boutique.
Opened by Tom and Kristen Boyd, a young couple in their 30s, the shop has a "getaway" theme, including seating and rounded windows that evoke the interior of an airplane. Travel brochures are on the wall, and the menu boasts related references such as "extra leg room" when you want to add flavored syrup to a drink.
Their beverage lineup includes drip coffee, single-origin pour-over coffee, draft nitro cold brew, espresso drinks, tea, Italian sodas, and seasonal drinks such as sweet potato latte. They also have a small menu of sandwiches and other foodstuffs.
The timing of COVID-19 could not possibly have been worse, and yet they prevailed, Kristen says.
"We initially opened on March 19, then had to close on March 20 when the stay-at-home order went into effect — so we were open for exactly one day," she says.
They eventually reopened in June, the culmination of more than five years of conceiving and planning.
"We both graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with degrees in accounting, and obtained jobs in that field," she says. "But after working in accounting for a few years, we realized it was not what we wanted to do forever."
They thought about the best part of their day, and realized it was getting out of the office.
"We never worked together, but we would always end up at coffee shops taking a 15-minute break — it was a reason to get out," she says. "We loved that feeling of walking into a coffee shop — the smells, the sounds, getting to know the barista — and decided that was what we wanted to do."
They got schooled on the essentials of coffee: the water, the beans, the temperature, the grind setting, the machines. (They use the "Stella" by Unic, and beans by Texas roaster Cuvee Coffee.)
Finding the right location was the longest part of the process. Kristen says that the M Streets was their "pie-in-the-sky dream spot" and were thrilled to land the space next door to St. Martin's Bistro.
"It's so nice being able to look out our front window and see the neighborhood," she says. "We love having regulars who walk to our space, and we also live a mile from the shop."
While their theme and decor do summon images of airports and travel, Kristen says it's more about creating an atmosphere.
"We created a window seat which people think is airline- and plane-themed, but it's more about that feeling of getting away, whether it's a coffee break or if you want to plan your next trip around the world," she says.
Food includes lots of items for grab-and-go, treats baked in-house such as zucchini and banana breads, beautiful layer cakes by the slice, and biscuits every morning for breakfast sandwiches with sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese.
They originally envisioned being open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with sandwiches-to-order and salad, and it's something they may revive once things are "normal" again.
"It's funny how it went down but we're really just excited to be open," she says. "Our goal is to provide people a place to escape."