James Oliver Coffee Co. to take over former Detroit Institute of Bagels space in Corktown
Coffee and bagels are coming back to the corner of Michigan and the Lodge this summer when the James Oliver Coffee Co. opens its flagship cafe.
The beloved Detroit Institute of Bagels, which used to occupy 1236 Michigan, closed during the pandemic, and in September owner Ben Newman decided to list the building and business for sale.
Besides bagels and bagel sandwiches, the cafe will have a complete line of brewed beverages including an espresso bar, cold brew, nitro, tea and a pour-over station. While this is the first cafe for James Oliver Coffee Co., local java fans may have had its products at Cannelle in Detroit and Birmingham and at the new Dearborn Cafe the Great Commoner.
James Oliver Coffee Co. owners David Shock and Miranda Clark — they took over the 26-year-old coffee roasting business from Clark's parents, James and Annie Oliver, a few years ago — have experience in coffee but have enlisted chef Tim Crandall to craft the bagels.
"He's originally from New York state and he makes an incredible New York-style bagel ... crusty outside, soft inside," said Shock. "I didn't think he could improve on a DIB and I will say they're at least as good as."
Shock and Clark, who rent the space from new building owner Alex Riley, are hoping to open in the next two months.
"We're having a lot of the equipment serviced and we're doing a lot of, kind of, ergonomic and aesthetic changes to the dining room to really open up the dining space," said Shock, adding that the are installing a pickup window in back and a drive-up window so customers can easily get their order without having to come in. "It will kind of cut down on the amount manic energy that was in there."
Down the line, Shock says they're planning to team up with Leelanau Peninsula winery Baia Estate to turn an old 32-foot Airstream trailer into a wine tasting room and park it in the adjacent courtyard.
"We're working out the details on that ... so you can have a bagel, you can have a coffee and a glass of wine," said Shock.
Shock said they had originally planned to open their first James Oliver Coffee Co. cafe near where they live in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood on Gratiot, but then this location became available and was relatively turnkey so they decided on Corktown to start the next phase of the family business.
James Oliver Coffee Co. will be at 1236 Michigan in Detroit. Visit jamesolivercoffee.com for more information.