When Cassie and Jacob Warren bought a house in Fort Worth’s Northside neighborhood, dreaming of turning it into a coffee shop, they had no idea how much history they would inherit. That is, until the former owner gave them two boxes full of documents and photos.
“He said ‘It was passed down to me. My kids don’t want it, I was just going to probably throw it away. I’m glad you’re here. Take it,’” Jacob Warren said.
Built in 1913, the house formerly belonged to Stockyards manager Anton Koldin. Koldin’s family portrait and U.S. naturalization certificate from what was once Czechoslovakia now hang on Revive Coffee’s walls. Cassie Warren said while she’s not a history junkie, it has stuck with them.
“When you can feel it and it’s part of who you are now it’s like, so cool,” Cassie Warren said.
Revive Coffee is set to open Nov. 19.
Recovering the history involved translation help from Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center as well as a lot of research to determine the importance of each document.
Warren said she’s also uncovered historic maps of the neighborhood, which was once called Rosen Heights. She’s going through the process to list the house on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Northside neighborhood is already home to several coffee shops — including year-old Casa Azul and Avoca in the Stockyards. But Joseph Landeros, owner of Casa Azul, doesn’t view competition as a negative. It breeds creativity, he said.
“Competition is good,” Landeros said. “I keep telling people I think Fort Worth is still in a very preliminary stage for its coffee scene. I think there’s still a lot of growth to take shape.”
Warren’s goal is to create a coffee shop that honors history and welcomes children. As a mother of three, she knows how hard it can be to find places that are accessible for mothers.
“Sometimes you just want to go out and fix yourself up a little bit and go out,” Warren said. “And it’s hard to find a place where you can go out, especially with an infant that isn’t sitting up yet … I really wanted a place where anyone with a kid could come in and could drink a cup of coffee and be just as respected and just as catered to as anyone else.”
Part of making the space welcoming for parents is space outside where kids can play with a fence and making sure nothing inside is breakable, she said.
Warren also hopes to use some proceeds of sales to support nonprofit organizations, like Tarrant County Five Stones, that support survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking. As an Air Force veteran and survivor of sexual assault, Warren said she wanted to educate herself and others about human trafficking and exploitation in the U.S.
She hopes when the coffee shop opens in the upcoming months, it will be a space where people can have real, honest conversations.
“I want this to be a space where people feel like they can talk about anything,” Warren said. “I know that as a society, we can’t push through those issues if they keep being taboo and we can’t even talk about them.”
Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.