PennyCup Coffee Co. owners Amber Arthur and Bill Tanner are eyeing late March for the opening of their third location at 6 Beverly Road in East Asheville’s Haw Creek neighborhood.
Arthur and Tanner have a track record of being ahead of the curve when it comes to strategically selecting shop locations. PennyCup already has a presence in the River Arts District at 362 Depot St. (PennyCup’s roasting headquarters, tasting room and café) and downtown at 39 S. Market St. in the YMI Building — both areas that felt desolate a couple of years ago compared to the more happening neighborhood vibes felt there today.
The Haw Creek PennyCup comes to East Asheville as part of a growing wave of homegrown restaurants (including Michel Baudouin‘s Bouchon and Zambra chef Adam Bannasch‘s Copper Crown) that are moving in to cater to the neighborhood. Arthur, who lives on the east side of town, is certainly interested in building a more vibrant sense of community there.
“I moved to East Asheville a couple of years ago,” says Arthur, “and while I was renovating my house, I didn’t have a kitchen for about a month. Every morning I would think, ‘There’s not really anywhere close to get a coffee or bagel or breakfast taco around here.’ So I thought something needed to be done about that over here, and that little strip [on Beverly Road] would be perfect for locals to walk to.”
The Beverly Road space, nestled between East Asheville Academy and Creekside Taphouse, has been on Arthur’s radar since she moved to the area two years ago. The building has been essentially left vacant for nearly 17 years, having once been home to Asheville Hardware and a feed store before that.
Vital to the development of the new shop has been Roman Vinson, who will manage the new location. Vinson is not only a longtime friend of Arthur, but together they are also co-parents of 5-year-old son Henry — a “true modern family,” Arthur gleefully exclaims.
Since receiving the keys to the place in mid-January, Arthur, Tanner and Vinson have been working on an aggressive timeline. The location needed a complete overhaul. “The shell was there, but there was no electricity, water, flooring or walls. It’s been a real learning process,” Arthur says with a laugh.
Construction is being handled by Tim Wilson of West Asheville, with Arthur acting as the contractor. Aesthetically, the atmosphere will have a “light, airy, Mexican vibe” calling back to Arthur’s Texas roots. Arthur and Tanner hired Mexico-based British artist Emma Rubens to paint custom Mexican pop art-themed murals. “We really connect with Emma’s style, having grown up in Texas and visiting Mexico all time,” says Arthur.
Arthur also wants the design to acknowledge the fact that they’re next door to a daycare center and will likely see a lot of parents and children rolling through. “It’s going to be much more family-focused at Haw Creek than any of the other shops,” says Arthur. “The shop will feature framed chalkboard paint for kids to make their own chalk artwork, which I think will be cool.”
“Overall, I think it’s going to be a really fun shop,” says Arthur. “We have these gorgeous tall ceilings and, just like PennyCup YMI, we’re going to have a nice little bar that faces windows looking outside, plus some comfortable outdoor seating.”
Menu-wise, patrons can expect locally roasted coffee by the cup and pound consistent with the other locations, as well as a few light breakfast and lunch sandwich options. “We’ll probably do breakfast tacos from TacoBilly, a smoked salmon bagel, granola, stuff like that — light bites,” says Arthur.
Haw Creek PennyCup hours will be 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, check out PennyCup on Facebook and Instagram or at pennycupcoffeeco.com.