New coffee shop coming to Westown this spring

Owners seek to differentiate by focusing on bar service, offering wide variety of coffee flavors

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

720 N. Old World 3rd St., photo by google

Plans are in the works for a new downtown cafe that would function more like a cocktail bar than a traditional coffee shop.

Canary Coffee Bar would occupy a vacant 1,200-square-foot ground-floor retail space in The Grand Wisconsin Apartments, which is in the historic former Hotel Wisconsin building at 720 N. Old World 3rd St.

Husband and wife Colin and Emily Whitcomb hope to open the concept by May or early June.

It will serve eight to 10 types of coffee sourced from a variety of roasters.

“We’ll have a range of coffee flavors that are tied into the cultures and places that produced them,” Colin Whitcomb said. “It will be an opportunity for people to have resonance of where that product comes from.”

He said Canary will be centered on service and experience, allowing customers to choose a coffee off the menu based on their personal taste.

The cafe will also serve espresso-based drinks, as well as food offerings including pastries and open-faced sandwiches.

The space, which will be renovated starting tentatively in early April, will feature a standing bar for patrons to order, drink their coffee and be on their way– an environment similar to that of coffee bars in Italy, Whitcomb said.

“I think it’s something that is a feather in our cap to be able to go into a space that has so much history,” Whitcomb said.

The historic Hotel Wisconsin building is located near several new development projects in the Westown neighborhood, including the Fiserv Forum and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Entertainment Block, The Avenue and 3rd Street Market Hall, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s new performance center.

“We are super pleased to find a downtown area that has lots of new development that is bringing people in,” Whitcomb said.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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