Published September 27th, 2016 at 2:55 PM
The departure of Little Freshie (811 W 17th street) from the Westside earlier this year left a gap for regulars that stopped in for sodas with house syrups or afternoon coffee. Last week, Goat Hill Coffee and Soda opened in the space to provide refreshments once again.
Co-owners Tanner Stevens and Levi Holland are shaping the local java scene. They own Post Coffee Co. in Lee’s Summit and Stevens may be a familiar face to downtown residents — he also founded Quay Coffee in the River Market. Katie Evenson, a seasoned professional in specialty coffee with 15 years of barista and management experience, manages the shop.
The shop’s unusual name invites the question, “What does it mean?”
“We wanted to brand this shop in a way that could belong to the neighborhood,” said Holland. “The name Goat Hill has some historical significance to the physical location.”
Specifically, “goats” were supporters of Joe and Tom Pendergast, political bosses in the local Democratic party, that once lived in the neighborhood. “Goats” faced off against “rabbits,” or supporters of rival party boss Joe Shannon. [Restless Spirits Distillery, which opened earlier this year in North Kansas City, found inspiration from the “rabbits,” for their spirits.]
While Stevens and Holland weren’t seeking a second location, the void left by Little Freshie’s departure proved enticing.
“We found ourselves in the right place at the right time,” said Holland. “We have always loved the Westside area and the local businesses that are doing such a great job with incredible products and services.”
Post Coffee will be the sole coffee supplier at Goat Hill. According to Holland, the owners do intend “to intently focus on offering the craftsmanship of other local vendors in the retail items we will have available.”
For example, Little Freshie’s syrups made by founder Lindsay Laricks will still be featured at Goat Hill. The shop will rotate her staple and seasonal flavors including green tea pear, raspberry rose, fig vanilla, and root beer.
The shop’s coffee menu includes a small selection of espresso, drip coffee, americano, mocha latte, and cortado (an espresso blended with an equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity). Light pastries from Heirloom Bakery are available as well as donuts from Hana’s in Kansas City, Kansas.
Adapting the existing space involved modest renovation. Holland said, “We added an additional five bar seats, a hand-painted mural by Beth Laird, and some custom bar pieces.”
Holland and Stevens aim to integrate Goat Hill in the Westside community and have it represent Post Coffee.
“Our desire is for it to be Westside’s coffee shop,” said Holland. “Goat Hill is an extension of the Post Coffee family. It’s locally and family-owned. We will continue to seek ways of serving the neighborhood, offering excellent products, and being a part of the betterment of Kansas City.”
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for KCPT’s Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.”