—a Finca El Puente, grown in Honduras but roasted twenty miles away at Counter Culture
in Durham—on Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street.
After several months of on-site woes and construction delays, the North Raleigh institution will open its second location—beneath the new Aloft hotel, opposite the latest franchise of Gonza Tacos Y Tequila
—Friday morning at seven a.m. Founder and owner Andrew Cash had originally hoped to unveil the second location in October 2015, but the results, he says, will be worth the wait.
“What you’re seeing in here is what we want to do from here on out,” Cash says. “I don’t see myself having grand plans of all these different shops, but I can see myself going back to North Raleigh and redoing that shop this way. This is what we want to do.”
The new Jubala is not at all a facsimile of the first. Instead, Cash rolled five years of lessons, including complaints about long lines and wait times in the North Raleigh space, into this iteration. Designed by Raleigh’s in situ studio,
the elegant, austere interior of walnut, stainless steel, and birch feels less crowded than its counterpart, with a mix of long community tables, more intimate tables, and large window-side espresso counters that collectively allow for people to use the room in multiple ways. Cash can fit about fifty-six people inside and, with a row of grand benches and some tables that will eventually line Hillsborough Street, just as many outside.
What's best, an extended central counter has two sides—“TAKE” and “STAY,” spelled out in illuminated pointillist woodcuttings—that will enable customers on the go to dip in and out for biscuits, drip coffee, and simple espresso, while the other side will allow for on-location indulgences such as pour-overs, espresso-based drinks, waffles, and granola. (They'll be running dual La Marzocco machines on opposite ends of the counter, by the way, one blue and the other yellow.)
While Jubala in North Raleigh doesn’t even have a drip coffee system, Cash and co-manager Jordan Wells took time to develop a drip method that approximates the pour-over taste on a much larger scale. A twelve-ounce serving will run $2.75, a sixteen-ounce $3.
“Some people see a FETCO system,
and they think you can’t brew quality coffee with it,” he says. “You can. It’s just a matter of taking the time to do it.”
Elsewhere, the second Jubala will add six taps for beer and, in the future, cold-brew coffee. They’ve upgraded the shop's tea program with a switch to Intelligentsia’s vaunted Kilogram, too.
When it comes to food, Jubala on Hillsborough Street will offer many of the same options as the North Raleigh location, at least at the start—arguably the Triangle’s best biscuits,
some interesting sandwiches, waffles and granola bowls. But Cash designed the full open kitchen with extensive capabilities so that, should the market demand it, he can expand the offerings through specials and by partnering with other local chefs or food trucks for events.
“There’s a lot of possibility with this setup,” he promises.
Given the success of Jubala’s first store, Cash has been eyeing a second location since at least 2014. He looked at spaces in Durham, Cary, and in several downtown Raleigh districts, including Boylan Heights and along Person Street. When two partners at Aloft, both regulars at the original Jubala, approached him about becoming part of their plan, he was skeptical of the hotel business, the location, and the glut of venerable coffee standbys less than a mile away, including Cup A Joe.
But one afternoon, he sat on the corner where Sadlack’s once stood and fell for the street’s energy and potential.
“I grew up here. I know what was here, and I get the hoopla of Sadlack’s,” says Cash, who was raised in North Raleigh and who used to play in the fields that once stood where the first Jubala is now. “I had to ask myself, ‘What is the culture of Hillsborough Street? What did that culture used to be like? And where is it going, and do I want to be a part of that?’ I do. I got really excited thinking about what this could become.”
Hey, me too.
Jubala Coffee at 2100 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh opens at seven a.m. on Friday, February 12, and closes at five p.m. These hours will last every day through Sunday, Feb. 21. It will then begin to close at nine p.m. on weekdays, five p.m. on weekends.
This morning, I lived a little dream: I had a cup of