La Colombe in Fishtown: Menu Sneak PreviewBy Danya Henninger | September 4, 2014 By Danya Henninger | September 4, 2014
“Everything we do is built around coffee. It’s our heart, our backbone.” Much as he reveres coffee, and recognizes its place of honor as La Colombe’s core business, you can tell co-owner JP Iberti is excited about what’s coming soon to Fishtown.
The 11,000-sq.-ft. cafe taking shape on Frankford Avenue will be the 13th storefront for La Colombe (there are nine throughout Philadelphia, New York, DC and Chicago, plus three in Seoul), but it's different from any of the others. Guests who walk into the huge space and up to the long marble counter will be able to go way beyond espresso and coffee when they order.
Pastries, the only food available at most La Colombe shops, will be made in house, from scones to muffins to macarons. The on-site bakery will also produce more than half a dozen types of bread, with loaves available to grab and go. Even better, that bread will be used for the likes of sandwiches, toasts and panini and will also accompany hearty salads and sizzling skillets.
Wine will be served European style, in juice glasses that look deceptively small but hold generous six-ounce pours, along with a few beers. And while there won’t be a full bar, some spirits will be sold — it only makes sense, since the space also houses a distillery with a custom German still designed by co-owner Todd Carmichael. Different Drum coffee-infused rum will be on offer by the glass or bottle.
Even though it’s much larger and more varied than the other spots Iberti and Carmichael have opened over the past 20 years, the forthcoming flagship location retains the La Colombe spirit. There’s no Wi-Fi, and no frou-frou coffee drinks. Seating is casual, varied and spacious. Despite their booming success, the partners are adamant that the new cafe is first and foremost for the neighborhood.
“It’s a very European atmosphere, but grounded in Philadelphia,” says Iberti. “This is a cafe for Fishtown.”
When will it open? Official launch date is October 1. However, if you happen to be in the area a bit before that, you might want to poke your head in — you just might find the espresso machine cranked up and a blaze roaring in the wood-fired oven.
We stopped in to meet the team and get a peek at some of the food that will be served; flip through to check it out.