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Bloom Cafe

There's a cool new coffee shop in Garland, opened by a Dallas influencer and her family. Called Bloom Café, it's in a small center just north of George Bush Turnpike, at 1815 Campbell Rd., where it's doing coffees, breakfast goods, and desserts.

Bloom is owned and operated by Saria Almaktabi, famous for her Dallas Food Wanderer Instagram page, and her entire family.

A UTD graduate who now works in healthcare management, she and her family have lived in the area for more than 20 years, which is how she knew it was missing a boutique coffee shop.

"I was hoping that somebody would open something different beyond a chain coffee shop, it was always on my mind," she says. "It ended up being us."

They serve coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters and have a selection of innovative signature drinks that include:

  • Bloom Latte: rose, vanilla, espresso, milk
  • Dreamy Latte: vanilla, espresso, milk, cream, and caramel drizzle
  • Judy Moody Latte: toffee crunch, caramel, espresso milk
  • Pistachio Latte: Pistachio, espresso, milk

They rotate in seasonal drinks such as peppermint hot chocolate and pumpkin latte. Almond and oat milk are available as alternative options for an extra charge.

They also offer baked goods including croissants, muffins, pumpkin bread, chocolate-chip cookies, cranberry & blueberry scones, Danishes, and cake pops from New York Bagel and Bakery, also family-owned.

Eventually, they'll expand the menu, adding specialty teas and chai, plus gluten-free and savory food items.

Everybody in Saria’s family is involved. Her dad and brother worked on the site construction, and her siblings are baristas. Her mom and sister worked on menu and design alongside Saria.

The atmosphere is warm, elegant, open, and airy. Colors are bright and luxurious, a mix of rose, gold, and black. Tables have marble tops. The cups, done in a tasteful black, have inspirational quotes.

Beyond meeting the coffee needs of their neighborhood, they hope to cater to the Arab and Muslim community in North Garland, with late-night hours during Ramadan, for example.

"We're getting requests to use the space for women groups, and I'm also thinking about hosting monthly events and pop-ups," Saria says. She wants to bring events that are typically found in Dallas right to her shop.

"The drive can be too long to Dallas. I want to bring the same experiences to Garland," she says.

Photo by Daniel Baum

Historic downtown Plano gets its java fix with opening of Lemma Coffee

Coffee News

There's a new coffeeshop in Plano from an experienced hand: Called Lemma Coffee, it's the latest expansion of a what started out as a coffee truck and is now a small but thriving local mini-chain.

The shop is in the historic downtown Plano district, in a charming storefront at 1025 E 15th St. that was most recently home to XO Coffee Company.

Lemma was founded by Daniel Blum, a former photographer who first started roasting coffee at home in 2017. He has two other locations: Carrollton, which opened in 2019, and Frisco, which followed in 2020. (He also had a mobile station at the University of Texas at Dallas, but it closed in 2021 due to COVID.)

They cover it all: from roasting beans to brewing and serving coffee and espresso drinks, plus a small, simple food menu that includes:

  • Avocado toast, their best-seller
  • Trifecta toast: Chocolate-hazelnut spread with bananas, strawberries, and blueberries
  • Ham and cheese sandwich: Ham, Swiss cheese, and egg on a bolillo roll
  • Raspberry jam grilled cheese: Raspberry jam and cheddar cheese pressed on a hoagie roll
  • Peanut butter banana yogurt parfait: Vanilla Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and bananas

They also serve baked goods from acclaimed vendors such as pastries from Montecito Baking Co., bread from La Casita Bakeshop, and bagels from Starship Bagel.

Most of their coffee is single origin, and they make their own syrups in flavors such as vanilla, lavender, chocolate, caramel, citrusgoth, and seasonal flavors such as pumpkin and cardamon.

Beyond the usual cappuccinos, they make some interesting coffee drinks such as their signature, the Lemme latte, an especially rich twist made with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

One drink, called the citrusgoth latte, contains charcoal, chocolate, and citrus. Charcoal lattes surged as a trend in 2017, and are a favorite among younger drinkers as a detoxifying drink that is said to aid digestion and eliminate toxins.

Fun holiday drinks include their cranberry haze, with hazelnut cardamom syrup, coffee concentrate, and cranberry bitters, steamed and topped with grated nutmeg; and a maple cream cold brew: Cold brew with shaken cream, maple, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Downtown Plano was a natural fit for Blum, who loves finding unique locations.

"When you look at these old downtowns, it's not just a building - they have a lot of soul to them," he says. "When you walk into this century-old building, it has such a cool historic feeling. I'm fascinated with the history, learning who was in these buildings and the stories that explain why they're there."

In the few weeks since they've been open, they're enjoying the fact that Plano has more street traffic than either of their other two locations.

"In the past, we've gone to locations that were available for a reason," he says. "We had to over-perform at locations where there aren’t just a group of people walking around. We emphasize Southern hospitality, and I think that has allowed us to thrive in locations that might not have had a built-in audience. We put a lot of energy into the experience. DFW loves their chains, and you can drive through and get coffee in a lot of places. But there is more to a business when you walk in and we invest a lot of energy into the experience."

Kim & Jenny's

Homey Duncanville diner Kim & Jenny’s Cafe gets second lease on life

Cafe News

A Duncanville diner that's been in business for more than 31 years has a new owner ready to give it some wow.

Called Kim & Jenny's Cafe, it's a breakfast-and-lunch spot at 450 E. Wheatland Rd. recently taken over by Bryan Kaeser, who owns two other Duncanville establishments: burger & beer spot Mudhook Bar & Kitchen, and Black & Bitter Coffee and Books. Kaeser was also a founding owner of Dallas Beer Kitchen, a craft beer spot on Greenville Avenue, which closed in 2018.

Kim & Jenny's is a classic home cooking cafe with breakfast, chicken-fried steak, biscuits & gravy, club sandwiches, pies, and desserts. It was founded by sisters-in-law Kim Johnson and Jennifer Jones, who sold it to Moiz Syamshi in 2005 and opened another location in Midlothian.

Kaeser juggled a desire to update the Duncanville restaurant while keeping its original DNA.

"Outside of modernizing the menu and the remodel, it's stayed the same so far," he says. "Right now, the hours are Monday-Saturday from 7 am-2 pm, and I look forward to opening on Sundays and adding some nighttime hours in the not too distant future."

Welcome changes included replacing the funky old carpet with new plank floors to give it a cleaner, more modern feel.

"One point I'm proud of is that we kept the entire back of house and raised their pay by an average of 35 percent," Kaeser says.

The menu has new items such as:

  • pot roast, served on Texas toast with carrots, celery, and mashed potatoes, and brown gravy, which will be a regular lunch feature
  • fried chicken & waffles with peppered gravy
  • avocado toast with toasted almonds and diced tomato
  • cinnamon rolls

Kim & Jenny's is in the Wheatland Plaza, a center near the intersection of 67 and I-20 that's being redone by trailblazing developer Monte Anderson, famous for revitalizing landmarks such as the Belmont Hotel in Dallas.

"That's how I discovered the cafe," Kaeser says. "I was there with Monte and the owner said he would like to move on. I jumped on it, to keep it going after being here so long."

For the diner's strong core of regulars, Kaeser instituted an irresistible perk.

"We took photos and made personalized coffee mugs, where they get coffee for free," he says. "I want Kim & Jenny's to still feel like their home — but to also bring in a younger crowd."

Does Dallas' Greenville Avenue really need a Starbucks coffee shop? Why yes.

Coffee News

Starbucks has been in expansion mode, opening a number of new stores around Dallas including a high-profile location at 1827 Greenville Ave., in the former Taco Cabana space.

Despite the gentrifying effect Starbucks has on any neighborhood where they open, it's become fashionable in certain circles to complain about Starbucks, usually in the more entitled neighborhoods where coffee shops are common. (In non-wealthy or transitioning neighborhoods, they're enthusiastically welcomed.) Complaining about Starbucks is an easy way to show you're an independent thinker (irony), superior to the unwashed hordes who line up whenever a Starbucks opens. You're a man of wealth and taste.

The Greenville Avenue location is a good example. "You know what Greenville Avenue didn't need. A Starbucks," says one tweet.

Is that really true? Greenville Avenue actually used to have a Starbucks, at the corner of Martel. It closed in 2008. I lived a block away and remember what a loss it was to the neighborhood when it shut down.

But maybe Greenville Avenue has enough coffee places now and no longer needs a Starbucks.

Let's analyze. Here's a list of the other coffee shops on Greenville Avenue, using two factors for comparison:

  • Availability. For those early shift workers, what are their hours?
  • Affordability: What's the price of a 12-ounce cup of coffee?

Spoiler: No one comes close to Starbucks' convenient and accessible hours (depending on location, they open anywhere from 4:30-6:30 am on weekdays and their average closing time is 9-10 pm), or beats their $2.65 price. (Price varies according to market.)

Going up and down Greenville Avenue, let's start at the tippy top:

Herb's House Coffee & Co., 5622 Dyer St. Quirky spot north of Mockingbird is owned by real estate development company The Stainback Organization, who also own the offbeat building they're in, which is maybe why they push the space as a workspace rental option. In addition to coffee, they have food, although their website doesn't show menu or prices. A "Herb's Brew" costs $3. They open at 6:30 am.

Window Seat, 3018 Greenville Ave. Your quintessential indie with foodie benchmarks including pastries from acclaimed La Casita Bakeshop, and a menu with all the espresso drinks first pioneered by Starbucks in 1971, plus extras such as matcha latte and horchata cold brew. A regular coffee is $3 to $3.25. On the hours, they come up short: Closed Sunday and Monday, open five days a week only, from 7 am-3 pm.

Halcyon, 2900 Greenville Ave. With four locations — two in Austin, one in San Antonio, and this one in Dallas — Halcyon is a small chain, and they're more restaurant-bar-with-coffee, plus wine, beer, cocktails, paninis, salads, appetizers, and tableside S'mores. They don't open until 8 am but stay open until 10 pm weekdays. A 12-ounce coffee is $3.25.

Cafe Duro, 2804 Greenville Ave. Euro-styled cafe from Duro Hospitality (The Charles, Sister) has a vibe that's slightly more "indulgent mid-morning pastry" than the utilitarian practicality of Starbucks. There's no dining on-site, you're directed to the patio at Sister next door. Although they've been open since May, their website still says "COMING SOON"; Yelp says they open at 7 am. Coffee is $3.

La La Land, 5626 Bell Ave. Growing chain has earned praise for its mission employing foster youth. It's a noble mission, which surely helps to atone in the foodie set for their seven-location status. A 12-ounce coffee is $2.90, although their focus is really on pricey exotic teas. They also serve food such as avocado toasts. They don't list hours online, and don't answer their phone, but they seem to open at 7 am.

Toasted Coffee + Kitchen, 5420 Ross Ave. Small local chain is known first for its menu of toasts, then coffee. It opens at 7:30 am, and their regular coffee is $3.

Houndstooth Coffee, 1900 N. Henderson Ave. Off the path but still falls within the Lower Greenville realm. They're a chain based in Austin but still successfully cultivate an indie persona, and by that I mean they keep limited hours, from 7 am-1 pm daily. If you want coffee after lunch, guess you'll need to hit Starbucks. Coffee is $2.77.

Photo courtesy of Ariana Delbar

New cat cafe will prowl into East Dallas from kitty rescue group

Cat News

A well known Dallas cat rescue organization is expanding its reach with a new cat cafe. Called the Cat Café, it's from nonprofit A Voice for All Paws (AVAP), and will provide a home for rescued cats, a sanctuary for cat lovers to grab a coffee, and a place for abandoned cats to get access to veterinary care.

The cafe will open side by side with an adoption center and luxury boarding near Garland and Peavy.

AVAP president Caroline Stovall, who has worked with a number of rescues in Dallas, and her husband Rob have purchased two buildings: 1211 Casa Vale, which will be home to the cat café and adoption area; and 10320 Garland Rd., which will be home to the boarding facility.

According to a release, these buildings are being renovated with a planned opening later this year.

"Our team, along with volunteers, will run the cat café and adoption center," Stovall says. "We will run it like a business with a coffee shop where people can work. We see the coffee shop as a means of funding our non-for-profit organization, too."

AVAP will do treatments such as spay/neuter, medications, and baths, as well as provide a place for cats to become socialized around people and other animals. Having a place where people can visit cats ready for adoption will be a huge benefit to AVAP.

"Cats generally receive less attention than dogs when it comes to shelters," Stovall says. "Creating a center and cafe that focuses specifically on cats and kittens will help the community meet them and find their forever homes."

Nancy Stephenson, AVAP's original founder and well known for her cat rescue work in Dallas, relocated to Oregon in July, but is still involved in operations, fundraising, and marketing, while Stovall handles day-to-day operations.

Board members also involved include Libby Cooley, Shelley Dai, and Dr. Gail Bushur-Irwin (Medical Director), who are all East Dallas residents.

Volunteers are welcome, as are donations, at avoiceforallpaws.com.

The organization offers these tips if you see stray cats:

  • If you see kittens, leave them alone. Moms have to leave to go to eat. They rarely abandon kittens.
  • Don't give cats away without getting them spayed or neutered.
  • Fees for cat adoptions are higher because cats often require more medical needs than dogs. Cats have a more difficult time regulating body temperature (hypothermia), and they can have hypoglycemia.
Courtesy photo

Starbucks opens its second charitable-ish Community Store in Dallas

Coffee News

Everyone's favorite coffee chain Starbucks has opened one of its rare Community Stores in Dallas, in a neighborhood that is absolutely thrilled to have it: the cool, up-and-coming Casa View area, on the very east side of town, if you go any further east, you're in Mesquite.

The store is located at 10305 Ferguson Rd., in the Casa View Shopping Center in a very prominent location on the corner of Gus Thomasson Road, in what used to be a Payless shoe store, which closed in 2018.

The shopping center has been executing an ongoing facelift/renovation, and that particular storefront has been a major focus for the neighborhood, with many hopes and dreams about what might go there. Obviously, getting a Starbucks is a dream come true.

Starbucks Community Stores focus on local hiring, partnerships with local nonprofits, and working with diverse contractors and subcontractors. They feature local artists and provide a unique in-store space for local events and programs.

According to a release, this is their 25th Community Store nationwide, and the second Community Store in the Dallas area. The first opened in 2018 in Red Bird, where it's been welcomed by the community. The store has strong partnerships with local organizations and has played a role in many key community events, such as working with Kimball High School on a business pitch competition and hosting a COVID-19 vaccine pop-up.

The Casa View location has 32 employees and includes a community gathering space for local events.

It also has a custom mural by local East Dallas artist, Alec de Jesus, which illustrates community growth, transformation, generational ties and the way coffee often plays a role in these connections.

To celebrate the store's dedication, Starbucks is donating $2,500 to each of the following non-profits:

  • Wilkinson Center - supporting Dallas families that face challenges such as food insecurity, lack of education, economic instability, unemployment & underemployment.
  • Owenwood Farm and Neighbor Space - tackling hunger in East Dallas through its community garden programming.

Starbucks' goal is to open 100 Community Stores across the U.S. by 2025. Most seem to be in less-gentrified neighborhoods than Starbucks' usual locations. (In Dallas, that would mean "Not On Preston Road.")

Following the 2020 Census, the Casa View neighborhood was determined to be primarily Hispanic, which is why the neighborhood was wedged into District 2 by the city of Dallas Redistricting Commission, in order to guarantee a solidly Hispanic district on the Dallas City Council.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas hot spot hooks No. 1 ranking as best college city in America

Studies Show, Study Here

It might be a bit reductive to call Austin a college town, but that's what makes it so good. It certainly benefits from the creativity and industry of college living, but there's a lot more to do than go to gentrified lunches and cool, underground shows.

Recognizing this special balance, financial website WalletHub has declared Austin the No. 1 college city in the United States for 2023, beating out some obvious contenders like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being the best city overall, Austin also tops the large cities list, and is one of only two Texas locales represented in the top 10 of any category; the other is College Station, No. 6 on the small list.

The most represented state, perhaps not surprisingly, is Florida, with four cities in the overall top 10. The top 10 college cities for 2023, according to WalletHub, are:

1. Austin
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Gainesville, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Rexburg, Idaho
7. Provo, Utah
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Miami
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

And how did Austin make the grade? WalletHub looked at key metrics across three categories to determine the rankings.

Austin scored best, No. 12, in the “social environment” category, determined by metrics like students per capita; breweries, cafés, and food trucks per capita; and safety issues like vaccination and crime statistics.

Its ranking at No. 21 in the “academic & economic opportunities" category puts it in the 95th percentile, even above Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, famous for their Ivy League prevalence.

And perhaps unsurprising to those who currently reside in Austin, the Capital City ranked worst in "wallet friendliness,” at No. 204 out of 415.

Elsewhere in Texas, El Paso did well on the overall list at No. 36, followed by Houston (No. 64), Dallas (99), Fort Worth (153), and San Antonio (169).

Dallas landed well down the list in every category: wallet friendliness (226), academic & economic opportunities (168), and social environment (147).

Fort Worth fell even farther down the list in the same categories: wallet friendliness (242), academic & economic opportunities (201), and social environment (149).

Notably, cities that tend to fall lower in similar studies ranked relatively well among college towns.

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Christmas spirit is in full swing, with all but one of this week’s events being holiday-themed. Check off pics with Santa for both the family and fur babies; take a Christmas cocktail-making class; sample holiday spirits from around the world; and stroll acres of candlelit walkways while indulging in holiday hors d’oeuvres and drinks – just to name a few. ‘Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 6

Caymus Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Decadent four-course meal features pairings with wines from award-winning Caymus. Courses include Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp, Rigatoni Al Forno with Chicken, Filet & Scallop Spiedino with Mashed Potatoes, and Crème Brulée, paired with Caymus wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Conundrum Red Blend. The dinner is $75 starts at 6:30 pm. For the Dallas location, reserve here, and for Plano, reserve here.

Fontodi Wine Dinner at La Stella Cucina Verace
The Dallas Arts District Italian restaurant will host a five-course dinner paired with wines from Fontodi, a producer located in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Courses will include beef carpaccio, butternut squash cappellacci with brown butter and sage, porchetta di Pienza with marble potatoes, Wagyu New York strip tagliata with porcini mushroom and butternut squash, and apple crostata. Dinner begins at 7 pm and is $175 plus tax and gratuity.

Thursday, December 8

Santa Paws at Texican Court Hotel
The Irving hotel invites furry friends and their humans to pop by for photos with Santa and complimentary hot apple cider and s’mores by the fire. Santa will be available for pet photos from 5-7 pm. Also enter to win a “Pups Night Away” overnight stay. Don’t miss the hotel’s pocket tequila bar, Salt, for new holiday cocktails in jolly keepsake glassware.

Reindeer Games Bar Crawl
Here’s a holiday bar crawl that spans beyond just drink specials. Participants get their money’s worth with a night of mini golf, axe throwing, unlimited video games, a chartered “sleigh bus,” and a pizza buffet. Start at Another Round and make stops at Flashback Retro Pub, LoneStar Axe Dallas, and Sylvan Avenue Tavern. Participants will also get a beer or seltzer at each stop. Tickets are $150 per duo, and the crawl will run from 6:15-10:30 pm.

Holiday Spirits Around the World at Hotel Vin
Sample an array of global spirits during this tasting experience at Grapevine’s Hotel Vin. Spirits to be served include Montenegro Italian liqueur, The Dalmore Scottish whiskey, Komo tequila, and Horse Soldier bourbon. Each spirit will be paired with globally-inspired bites. The tasting is $50 and will begin at 7 pm.

Friday, December 9

Cocktails by Candlelight at Old City Park
Candlelight will feature more than 13 acres of holiday cheer with decorated buildings, carolers, craft vendors, and candlelit walkways in Old City Park. Its 50th edition is set to begin on December 10, but adults only can get a sneak peek the night before during Cocktails by Candlelight, which comes with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 10

Shaken, Not Stirred, Holiday Cocktail Class at Elm & Good
The modern American restaurant inside the Kimpton Pittman Hotel will host a holiday cocktail class great for groups looking to make spirits bright. Elm & Good’s lead mixologist Indy Acevedo-Fowler will guide guests through creating three cocktails: a cranberry margarita, peppermint espresso martini, and sangria rosa. Guests will also receive a branded take-away gift. The class is $35 and will begin at 2 pm.

Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Santa at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria
Meet the big guy himself while indulging in brunch dishes during this family-friendly Sunday Funday. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes one mimosa) and $15 for kids 3-12. Children will get to meet Santa and take family photos. Brunch will run from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Monday, December 12

12 Days of Thompson
The Thompson Hotel Dallas will spread Christmas cheer with 12 days of daily holiday activations. The festivities start Monday with Home Alone, S’mores & Sips, a movie night with cocktails themed after the Christmas classic, a s’mores bar, and movie screening amid downtown views. The price is a $15 charitable donation. Doors opens at 5 pm with the movie to start at 6 pm. Other 12 Days of Thompson events range from a pie-baking class and cookie decorating to brunch with Santa and Holiday High Tea. See the complete calendar of events here.

Dedicated volunteers extract Spaghetti Warehouse trolley from Dallas' West End

Trolley News

Thanks to a dedicated team of conservation-minded folks, the vintage trolley from the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas' West End has been moved to a temporary new home: in a warehouse at Orr-Reed Architectural Co., the salvage store just south of downtown Dallas, which will provide a safe space for the vehicle while it undergoes a restoration.

A permanent home is still TBD, but Orr-Reed will be housing the trolley for at least the next 12 months.

The trolley was one of the original streetcars that ran through East Dallas nearly a century ago. It surged to fame in 2019 when Spaghetti Warehouse closed after 47 years, and the company held a giant auction of its extensive collection of memorabilia.

The streetcar got a bid from an anonymous buyer, but that buyer bailed once they encountered the difficulties of removing the trolley from the location.

The trolley was donated to the Junius Heights Historic District, a neighborhood association in Old East Dallas who wanted to save the trolley because of its role in the original streetcar program that was key to the establishment of Junius Heights.

Orr-Reed is providing the space and backup manpower for free.

"The first time it went on the auction block, I wanted to buy it because I'm obsessed with keeping the city’s history," says Orr-Reed owner Hannah Hargrove. "Dallas is known for tearing things down and replacing it with bigger and better things, but 'bigger and better' only lasts 50 years. Since we have the space, we wanted to be helpful in providing the trolley's next chapter of life."


spaghetti warehouse trolley A team unloads the Spaghetti Warehouse trolley into a warehouse at Orr-Reed.Johann Huebschmann

The move
JD Middleton, who builds out restaurants and bars for his "day job," oversaw a team of volunteers who broke the trolley down into pieces and transported it to the new location.

"My buddy JJ Velez and I saw it in the news, we both had a personal connection," Middleton says. "My grandfather drove the trolley, it's possible he drove that one, while JJ had seen it when he was a little kid, after the Christmas parade in downtown Dallas."

With another friend, Randy Lasiter, assisting, they volunteered to do it on a 100 percent volunteer basis. For the past six months, they've been going there in the early morning, before heading to their regular job sites.

"We do a lot of crazy things for customer requests, and this was right up our alley," Middleton says.

This entailed cutting the exterior into parts: removing the front and back "nose pieces," breaking down the body of the trolley into panels, then splitting up the chassis foundation — like a vertebrae that they cut up, to be reassembled by a welder.

Middleton says that Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop donated saw blades and trailers and other equipment, as did Frida's Social Club on McKinney Avenue, who provided a big trailer and truck to haul it over to Orr-Reed.

Middleton assembled a group of friends who spent four hours on December 3, loading the trolley piece-by-piece onto trailers, then unloading it at Orr-Reed. He's also volunteered to help restore it.

"There's some rusting on the inside, it's like an old Ford Model-T that's been sitting in a garage," he says. "We'll get it sand-blasted and primed and painted, then put it back together again."

Their work is saving the Junius Heights Historic District hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's like an art project for us, and we're getting the opportunity to help take care of history," Middleton says. "JJ ate there when he was a little kid, and he'd like to take his kid to see it when it's finished. That’s why we're doing it."


Spaghetti Warehouse trolley Spaghetti Warehouse trolley, in pieces.Johann Huebschmann

The new home
The Junius Heights group does not yet have a permanent home for the trolley, nor a plan for how it will be managed or maintained. Details details.

For now, it resides in Orr-Reed's "dry house" — a warehouse they've used for overflow and for items that need to be kept out of the elements such as big furniture items, casement windows, and things that cannot get wet.

Hargrove and her staff built shelving and redesigned the warehouse to make it work.

"It'll definitely affect our day-to-day routine — there's a giant cumbersome trolley that's taking up space — but it’s worth it," Hargrove says. "If we hadn't done it, they would have had to spend a lot of money on storing it rather than restoring it. I'm a keeper of history, it’s my duty, although I've never done anything on this scale."

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it because someone has to," she says. "I feel like I'm doing the right thing."