Coffee shop to open on Grand River: ‘We want to honor the rich history of Grandmont Rosedale’

Though there’s a significant age gap between them, the brothers Edwards, Jason, 36, and James, 22, maintain a close relationship. That familial bond draws tighter as the two prepare the opening of their new business together, a neighborhood coffee shop in Grandmont Rosedale.

Finishing touches are being made at Public Square, a new coffee shop at the former location of Always Brewing and Town Hall Caffe’ on Grand River Avenue. The coffee shop opens this Wednesday, Feb. 3.

“We’ve both worked at and managed coffee shops and cafes. It’s something that we really love,” says Jason, who is also a financial planner.

“The opportunity to own our own business, plus coffee, plus it being with my brother — it’s perfect. It all came together.”

Jason says he became aware of the space while volunteering for Life Challenge Ministries, a residential rehabilitation center on nearby Pierson Street. Conversations with the property owner and Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation led to the deal.

The goal is to create a coffee shop that answers the needs and wants of the community.

“We want to honor the rich history of Grandmont Rosedale. When you come from the outside, you worry [about] gentrification. And you’ve seen that happen in Detroit before,” Jason says.

“We want to be very aware as we come in, we want to learn what this space is and what the community wants it to be.

“We want to give back more than we take.”

The Edwards brothers have tapped local businesses as vendors, including pastries and baked goods from Venla’s Bakery. Sabbath Coffee Roasters, which is based in downtown Clawson, will provide the coffee. A Grand River Blend is being made special for the shop.

As for the coffee shop itself, Jason says that renovations will offer something aesthetically different than previous tenants. Popular community events, however, like open mic nights and neighborhood meetings, will likely resume once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

“We want this space to be accessible to everyone that lives here,” Jason says. “We would love to serve everyone from all over, but if the people that live here don’t feel comfortable, then we haven’t done what we set out to do.”

Public Square is scheduled to open on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Operating in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols, the coffee shop will open at 25% capacity and require face masks and social distancing.

Public Square is located at 19180 Grand River Ave. in Detroit.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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