Wood-Fired Bagels and Coffee at the B-Side Cafe in Decatur

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:

  1. Exterior and Interior Views of the B-Side Cafe

  2. The Menu at the B-Side Cafe

  3. Q&A with Chef/Owner of B-Side Cafe and The Deer and The Dove, Terry Koval

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:

View of the B-Side Cafe (and the adjacent restaurant The Deer and The Dove) from across the Decatur MARTA station.

Closer look at the inviting space of the B-Side Cafe.

Exterior views of the B-Side Cafe; there are a couple of tables for those that want to dine outdoors.

A beautiful yellow, cyan, and blue color palette at the B-Side Cafe.

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.

Interior of the B-Side Cafe.

It’s such a beautiful space inside, wouldn’t you agree?

Interior views at the B-SIde Cafe. Note the elevated bar seating area that begins at the right of frame.

Details from the back wall at the B-Side Cafe.

There are gorgeous interior design elements inside, such as the cushioned seats anchored by leather straps accented with olive tones:

Details at the B-Side Cafe. Beautiful elements.

Comfortable seating arrangements at the B-Side Cafe.

Comfortable seating arrangements at the B-Side Cafe.

Leather accessories in the seating area…

Looking toward the bar seating area from the other side of the B-Side Cafe.

Bar stool details at the B-Side Cafe.

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:

A menu at the B-Side Cafe.

The chalkboard menu at the B-Side Cafe. Note: the menu changes frequently.

What’s on drip and espresso at B-Side Cafe. The coffee beans are from Counter Culture Coffee.

Bagels being prepared at the B-Side Cafe.

Caramelized onion bagel at the B-Side Cafe. Seriously amazing!

A beautifully prepared cappuccino at the B-Side Cafe.

Details from the bar area at the B-Side Cafe.

Details from the chalkboard menu at the B-Side Cafe.

The B-Side Cafe is not running out of coffee anytime soon…

A La Marzocco espresso machine is one of the tools of the trade at the B-Side Cafe.

Another view of the cappuccino against the table setting at the B-Side Cafe.

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.

Welcome to the B-Side Cafe…

Final Say

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.


The B-Side Cafe (adjacent to The Deer and The Dove)
Web | Facebook | Instagram

Location:
Decatur, GA ☕ ITP

Address:
153 Sycamore Street
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Google Maps link
ph: 404-748-4617

Hours of operation:
Monday: closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 8AM to 3PM

Coffee Roaster / Roasting Partner:
Counter Culture Coffee (Durham, NC)

The Inaugural Sprudge Twenty Class of 2019: Spotlight on Daniel Brown of Gilly Brew Bar

This week, the coffee magazine Sprudge announced the winners of its inaugural “Sprudge Twenty”. (See the Instagram announcement and the winners tagged here). This class of twenty people are changing the coffee scene around the world. In the words of the magazine, the Sprudge Twenty are people:

[W]hose work challenges and excites us, from every step of the coffee value chain. It includes entrepreneurs and coffee producers (they’re often one and the same!), working baristas and cafe owners, career professionals and those whose careers are just starting, competition success stories and folks working quietly behind the scenes, leading by example.

And from the amazing list of nominees, there are two people from the Atlanta coffee scene who made the list: Sara Frinak and Daniel Brown. Sara is well-known as a volunteer and supporter of coffee events, both regionally in the Southeast, and nationally through the Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) USA competitions circuit. You can read more about Sara in this Barista Magazine profile and Sara’s involvement with green coffee in this Medium piece from Ally Coffee (where Sara works). (Perhaps a future spotlight about Sara may appear on this blog).

Daniel Brown at Gilly Brew Bar

The other nominee from Atlanta in the Sprudge Twenty inaugural class is Daniel Brown of Gilly Brew Bar.

Here is the blurb that accompanied the Sprudge piece about Daniel:

Daniel Brown is the founder of Gilly Brew Bar, a successful and important new coffee company based in the Stone Mountain suburb of Atlanta. Housed inside a historic 19th century home known as “The Mayor’s House”, purchased in 2015 by Brown and his wife, Shellane Brown, Gilly pushes quality and innovation across an ever-changing range of premium coffee “elixirs” featuring dried herbs, bitters, and aromatics. Brown was nominated by multiple people for The Sprudge Twenty, and in one nomination essay is described as “one of the most innovative, creative, savvy interpreters of the coffee experience I have ever encountered.”

Daniel’s nomination for this award was submitted by Justin Brostek (from Atlanta’s Read Shop) and Juanita Brown. I asked Justin if he wanted to contribute a quote to accompany this post, which he gladly agreed to do. Here is what Justin had to say about Daniel:

Daniel is, by far, one of the most influential voices in the coffee scene today. He’s proud but never egotistical, always insanely approachable and humble. He’s a trendsetter at heart—always looking for the next thing but never letting others tell him what that is—and his shop embodies that. It’s old, but with soul; fresh, but still timeless. Daniel is redefining mastery in the coffee industry—purism is one thing, but instead he chooses to tell the story of how coffee can be the foundation for art. And he’s doing all of this by serving—Daniel’s employees speak of how he’s never above the worst task in the shop. He’s built a family in a way every shop dreams they could build. I don’t think there’s another person in Atlanta who puts more love, acceptance, and creativity into the coffee scene than Daniel does. 

I profiled Gilly Brew Bar last year with respect to their inventive summer elixirs (I visited Gilly Brew Bar approximately two weeks after their grand opening). More recently, I went back to Gilly Brew Bar in March to capture some more scenes from the coffee shop as well as to sample the Winter elixirs that were slowly being unwound from the menu in preparation for the release of the Spring elixirs.

A few of the photos from the visit in March appeared in this Instagram post (with the focus on the drinks). However, this blog post showcases a few more behind-the-scenes photos with Daniel performing his magic behind the bar.

An inspiring print at Gilly Brew Bar. The “Create something” like speaks to what Daniel is doing every day at Gilly Brew Bar.

Daniel Brown behind the bar at Gilly.

Getting ready to make an iced elixir.

The finishing touch! Thank you to Winnie for joining this outing to Gilly Brew Bar and performing the pour so I can capture this photograph.

A matcha elixir.

Nitro shots!

The slow pour.

Almost ready.

Daniel putting on the finishing touches.

Chilled and ready.

Daniel steaming the milk.

An interesting story about the image below. After I captured it, I realized in post-processing that there was a chocolate drop that slowly cruised down onto the wooden ledge. On Instagram DMs, I asked Daniel whether he thought the drop was distracting (I also have a version where I cleaned it up in post), but he agreed that it worked for this particular image. I also liked it. And so this was the version I shared on Instagram. I think the metaphor here is that sometimes progress isn’t perfect but nevertheless beautiful. What do you think?

The drop that sparked a conversation.

Another elixir in the making. There were about a dozen customers this particular afternoon (who found out about Gilly Brew Bar through word-of-mouth or some other channel).

More elixirs at the ready.

A bit of a serious tone here.

Last image in the series, which I think is representative. If you visit Gilly Brew Bar, you’re likely to find Daniel smiling or cracking jokes. He takes the craft of making amazing elixirs seriously while having fun. A vibrant personality such as Daniel’s adds to the experience (in every sense of the word) that you are likely to have when you visit Gilly Brew Bar.

Congratulations Daniel on being nominated to the Sprudge Twenty! So well-deserved!

###

If you haven’t yet checked out Gilly Brew Bar in Stone Mountain and what Daniel and his team are executing there, what have you been waiting for? I hope you make the trek to sample the Spring elixirs that are now on the menu.


Gilly Brew Bar
Web | Facebook | Instagram

Address:
5329 Mimosa Dr.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Google Maps link