There’s a new coffee shop in town in Decatur: B-Side Cafe. Located in the heart of Decatur Square, this is a cafe that opened in late June by Chef/Owner Terry Koval (previously: chef at Wrecking Brew Bar and executive sous chef at one of Atlanta’s most picturesque restaurants, Canoe). There’s been a lot of anticipation for this cafe as well as the adjacent sister restaurant, The Deer and The Dove, to open.
Located in a space previously occupied by the bakery of Cakes & Ale restaurant, the B-Side Cafe evokes feelings of a small neighborhood deli (perhaps Brooklyn), with vibrant green and cyan colors and exposed brick in the interior. The B-Side Cafe is partnered with Counter Culture Coffee for its coffee supply.
This post is organized into three parts:
Exterior and Interior Views
The B-Side Cafe is located right next to the Decatur MARTA Station, which makes it convenient for those of you looking to get there by public transport. There is no dedicated parking lot for the B-Side Cafe (or the adjoining The Deer and The Dove restaurant; however, metered parking is available on adjoining streets around Decatur).
The view of the two restaurants (The Deer and The Dove on the left; B-Side Cafe on the right) upon approach from the Decatur MARTA station:
Exterior views of the B-Side Cafe; there are a couple of tables for those that want to dine outdoors.
The interior of the B-Side Cafe has several long/communal tables and a cozy bar area. Both The Deer and The Dove and B-Side Cafe were designed by Luke Wilkinson of Local Architects and Brian Buckner, who drew inspiration from Terry Koval’s love of skateboarding and cooking.
On this particular visit (in mid-July), I opted to sit at the table in the far end of the cafe. The design of the cafe is amenable to those people who want to “grab-and-go” as well as for folks who want to sit down, relax, and have a proper meal.
It’s such a beautiful space inside, wouldn’t you agree?
There are gorgeous interior design elements inside, such as the cushioned seats anchored by leather straps accented with olive tones:
The Menu at the B-Side Cafe
The B-Side Cafe is probably best known for its wood-fired bagels; indeed, the bagel options occupy the central part of the menu at the B-Side Cafe. The wood-fired bagel options include: plain, sea salt, benne, caramelized onion, jalapeño, and cheddar. For those curious, the everything bagel mix at B-Side Cafe is a collaboration with a local partner, Beautiful Briny Sea. The cream cheese schmear options include plain, veggie, olive+caper, smoked trout, goat cheese + peaches, garlic chive, and a daily special. I opted for the caramelized onion bagel and will definitely say it was one of the best bagels I’ve had in the Atlanta area in years.
With respect to the coffee: the B-Side Cafe is partnered with Counter Culture Coffee (Durham, NC) for its coffee beans, and the staff is knowledgeable about the various coffees (on drip, espresso).
Coffee offerings at B-Side Cafe include espresso (cortado, espresso or double shot, americano, cappuccino, or latte), batch brewed coffee (small or large), pour-over, and cold brew. For espresso, the B-Side Cafe uses Counter Culture’s Fast Forward blend (50% Guatemalan, 50% Nicaraguan origins); for drip, the cafe uses Counter Culture’s Apollo (single origin Ethiopian). The B-Side Cafe also has several tea options, including hibiscus berry, jasmine green, earl grey lavender, golden yunnan, maghreb mint, turmeric ginger, Baozhong oolong, and cascara tea. The primary tea partner is Rishi Tea.
Rounding out the menu are other items such as salads, soups, and sandwiches. Below is a partial menu as it appeared during the Atlanta Coffee Shops visit in mid-July:
Q&A With Chef/Owner Terry Koval
Following is a brief Q&A conducted by Atlanta Coffee Shops with Terry Koval, chef/owner of the B-Side Cafe and the adjacent restaurant, The Deer and The Dove.
Q: Prior to opening the space, was it your intention to build out the coffee shop/cafe (B Side) separate from the main dining / restaurant in The Deer and The Dove? If so, can you explain your vision behind the two components?
A: We always had the intention on doing coffee in the space as that what it was previously, but did not want to do a typical coffee shop. We want to provide a hospitable space with great service and a great product. When we walked the space and saw that it had a wood fire oven, our eyes lit up! Bagels came to our mind instantly so we researched and started to put together a concept.
Q: In terms of food and drink offerings at B Side and The Deer and The Dove -- what are, if any, common elements in terms of offerings?
A: Our product is made by hands from scratch and thoughtfully sourced from relationships that chef Terry Koval has developed for a little over a decade in and out of Atlanta.
Q: How did you decide to partner with Counter Culture Coffee? Was that an easy decision to make, or did you consider various roasters/partners?
A: We did our research and tasted and it came down to their mission and what they believe in and the quality of their coffee.
Q: What has the clientele been like since you opened? Is it mostly locals in Decatur, coffee enthusiasts looking to check out a new space, or some combination of the two?
A: I would definitely say it has been a combination of both, everyone has definitely been coming out to support!
Q: Can you comment or describe the aesthetic (ex. bar stools) inside the cafe? Was there an artist responsible for creating the back wall with the text printed on the wall ("Rolls, Biscuits")? What about the back seating, with what appear to be leather belts?
A: The stools and the mural were there from the previous tenant, we really liked them so we left them as is. We had Luke Wilkinson from Local Architects and Brian Buckner from Firefly do the design of the space.
Q: I tried one of the bagels during my visit and was amazed by how tasty it was. What's your secret?
A: Having a dedicated passionate team is all the love you need!
Q: Is there anything new planned on the menu at the B-Side over the coming months? Do you plan to do any seasonal/rotational items?
A: Absolutely, we will be moving things around depending on availability and seasonality.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share about the B-Side Cafe with a wider audience that has not been asked or reported in the media (AJC, Eater, etc.) previously?
A: We are a husband and wife team, we have lived in Decatur for the past 13 years. This is our community and we want to provide a space restaurant, with great hospitality and good service and serving the best quality product that we can source and produce.
The B-Side Cafe is a welcome addition to the Atlanta Coffee Shops community. Chef and owner Terry Koval has worked tirelessly over the years and, in the words of Atlanta-based photographer Andrew Thomas Lee, finally has a place of his own (in both the B-Side Cafe and the sister restaurant, The Deer and The Dove).
Come visit the B-Side Cafe in Decatur for some of the best bagels in Atlanta, excellent coffee from Counter Culture, and friendly staff. Say hello to Terry if you see him!
Starting soon, B-Side Cafe will change its hours and transform from a breakfast/brunch/lunch place into a bar setting, with a focus on wines , cocktails, and small plates. There’s also a possibility that the space will host occasional pop-up dinners from local chefs.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Terry Koval for the welcome at the B-Side Cafe during my visit, and to responding to the Q&A above while being so busy running two restaurants. Thanks to Emily L. behind the bar at the cafe for clarifying some details about the coffee program.
Hours of operation:
Tuesday-Sunday: 8AM to 3PM
Coffee Roaster / Roasting Partner:
Counter Culture Coffee (Durham, NC)