Roosevelt Coffeehouse hosts its grand opening this weekend

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

After passing final inspections on the morning of April Fool's Day (no joke), The Roosevelt Coffeehouse opened its doors that afternoon. It was a sudden movement from a spot that's been teasing Downtowners with intermittent pop-up previews and talk of selling coffee for a cause for roughly a year.

When he got the OK, owner Kenny Sipes couldn't take it any longer-he had to unlock the doors. From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, the Discovery District shop (300 E. Long St.) will celebrate with a more formal gathering. At the grand opening party, Sipes promises giveaways from area restaurants, hotels and concert venues, and plenty of coffee and doughnuts to go around.

There will be prizes from Barcelona, the Columbus Zoo, Buckeye Raceway, G. Michael's Bar & Bistro, Gateway Film Center, Park Street Cantina, Hampton Inn & Suites, Shadowbox Live and the Funny Bone. And customers will also have a chance to win floor seats to the sold-out Sept. 18 Twenty One Pilots show at the Schottenstein Center.

For those who may be wondering "What's the big deal? It's just another coffee shop, right?" Roosevelt Coffeehouse is an urban coffee shop with a different kind of mission. They are committed to serving great coffee-beans are sourced from notable Portland roaster, Stumptown, and locally from One Line Coffee-but they're also dedicated to making sure your cup of java lasts longer than the caffeine buzz. Roosevelt is a nonprofit coffee shop with a goal to support the fights for clean water and against hunger and human trafficking.

Translation: Portions of every cup of coffee and doughnut you buy and every tip you slide toward your barista will go to help one of 10 service organizations selected by Sipes, a former youth pastor who's dedicated years to opening this shop. (You can find a full list of charities Roosevelt supports on their website.)

"There are a lot of do-good coffee shops, but they kind of feel like grandma's corner," Sipes says. "I wanted to be Barista Parlor (a coffee shop in Nashville). I wanted to be a high-end coffee shop that could have an impact."

Sipes wanted to create a shop that feels urban and hip-the kind of place where all sorts of people would want to hang out. It's a lofty space with nearly two stories of windows along the Long Street storefront. Settle in to a table on a tiny beer-garden-like patio outside, or reserve a conference room space where large groups can gather.

The coffee bar is every bit as serious as other local shops in town with offerings that include single-origin pour-overs, bottled cold brew and other brewing options (think French press, V60 and Chemex). The bar top itself has been fashioned from an old bowling alley lane, arrows still visible in the wood grain. Below this counter, there is a Modbar espresso system-essentially it's the same a high-tech system you'll find at other coffee bars, just hidden. This means there's no bulky equipment blocking the barista from the customer.

In the pastry case, customers will find bagels from Sammy's, cake pops from Fantasy Cupcakes, and doughnuts from Destination Donuts. The shop is the only place in town where you'll find a snicker doodle-inspired exclusive flavor from Destination-just ask for The Roosevelt.