Say it ain't so, joe!
By which we mean: Where we gonna get a decent cup of joe now?
Barnie's CoffeeKitchen, which opened in the CityArts Factory in fall of 2013, is shutting its doors at the end of the month. Barnie's management and employees are staying mum for now on the whys and wherefores, but things had been shaky with the company for a few years – and CEO Jonathan Smiga, who replaced founder Barnie Jones in 2010, was ousted in July 2015
. No word on how or if this affects the Winter Park location or the various Barnie's Espress locations at malls around town.
The departure leaves a vacuum for third-wave coffee service in the Central Business District. There are plenty of places downtown to get a utilitarian caffeine fix (especially if you include 7-Eleven), and there are a few places trying a little harder (I see you, Artisan's Table Mexican mocha), but if you're the kinda nerd who wants to know where the bean comes from and takes for granted that it will be ground in front of your eyes before being slowly dripped through a Hario or poured over in a Chemex ... well, you're out of luck as of Friday, Feb. 26.
It would seem a clever entrepreneur – maybe one of the new microroasters that seem to be popping up throughout Central Florida? – might take advantage of that vacuum. (By which we mean: please, someone come down here and sell us decent coffee.)