On November 26th, 2017, at 5:00 PM, M5 Espresso will be closing its doors for the last time.
I would be lying if I said this post is easy to write. For the past two and a half years, I've spent most of my time in or around the address of 2717 Erie Ave. The first time I stepped foot in this storefront, I had been a barista for only eight months and had spent most of that time operating a cash register. I had no idea how much I didn't know about running a coffee shop, but I knew that this was an incredible opportunity, and I seized it.
We opened our doors the same afternoon we were given our food service permit--we had no to-go cups, no sugar, no milk alternatives. It was as bare bones as a coffee shop can get and still be called a coffee shop. Since then, we've grown a lot. We've hired a small crew of talented baristas, expanded to take over the whole ground floor of the building, added formidable tea and signature drink menu to our small core coffee menu, and worked hard to serve consistently excellent coffee to customers each and every day. It has been an absolute honor to see this place grow from one person's vague dream into a gathering place, a guilty pleasure, a daily ritual, and a second home for so many.
In spite of all these strides forward, there have always been a few things holding M5 back. The greatest challenge by far is the sheer size of our current cafe. It's a beautiful space inside, but it's also far too big for us and incredibly expensive to maintain, and people regularly comment that they didn't realize it was a cafe from the outside. After a change in ownership this summer, we began searching for a smaller space for our cafe. We had hoped initially to stay in Hyde Park, but an opportunity presented itself to take over a building on Madison Road in O'Bryonville, and we went for it.
This new space will be a lot different from the M5 Espresso you know now. It'll have a different name, for one thing, and it will serve craft beer as well as coffee and tea. It will have outdoor seating and private rooms available for meetings and events. It will look like a coffee shop from the outside. Some things will not change, however. Many of our partnered roasters will make appearances in the new space, and we will continue our relationships with our awesome dairy partners (Hartzler Family Dairy), our stellar oat milk folks (Oatly), and our exemplary tea people (Spirit Tea). Most of our staff will move with us to the new space, and we'll still serve a carefully curated menu of single origin coffees, but we'll be far better equipped to provide a customer experience that mirrors the quality of the coffee.
We'll be taking the next couple months to renovate the new space at 2005 Madison Road and get set up to serve all of you wonderful people. If you'd like to keep up with the progress, follow us on Instagram (@m5espresso) where we'll be posting regular updates. If you want to be a part of the new space in any way, send us an email. We're always looking for new people and businesses to partner with, and we'll likely be hiring a couple new baristas in addition to our current staff, so if any of that interests you, get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're sad to be absent from the Cincinnati coffee scene for a bit, but we're so excited to share this new cafe with all of you. Stay tuned, and thank you, as always, for your support. We couldn't do it without you.
Director of Coffee / Coffee Dad
Over our tenure in this space, we've been incredibly fortunate to work with an insane number of inspiring people, from coffee roasters to dairy farmers to chocolatiers to equipment technicians to bakers. These people have all believed in us and helped us in one way or another, and they deserve a world of thanks. There are too many to name them all here, but below are a few of the best friends a coffee shop could ask for.
The past and present M5 Wrecking Crew (in order of appearance): Lyric Morris-Latchaw, Sean Varady, Ben Lapps, Joel Borton, Ana Walden, Malcolm MacAfee, Tim Allen, and Heidi Allen
Jared Linzmeier and the crew, Ruby Roasters
AJ Walzer and the crew, Parlor Coffee
Heart Coffee Roasters
Chris Gatti, Little Wolf Coffee Roasters
Gabe Boscana, Maquina Coffee Roasters
Taylor Cowan and Jordan Scherer, Spirit Tea
Blair Fornshell, Brown Bear Bakery
Hartzler Family Dairy
Codee and the crew, Carriage House Farms
John and the crew, Coffee and Espresso Repair Solutions