On the second day of Songbird Coffee & Tea House's soft opening, co-owner Erin Carroll runs out the door just in time to catch a customer who fidgets with the door handle for a moment, think's the shop's closed, and proceeds to leave.
Erin and her husband Jonathan Carroll have had a lot of sleepless nights leading up to this point, so they're excited to show eveyone just how far they've come.
After stopping in twice the week before doors were set to open, we'll admit we had our doubts. Sawdust still covered the floors, a partition hid half of the space, and all other signs pointed to that of a far-from-finished construction zone.
We walked in less than a week later to a coffee spot that looked like it had been around for a couple years rather than a couple of days. Nice transformation!
The shop's music-loving theme and passion for simplicity in coffee stems directly from their past lives. The couple met in Erin's hometown of Lodi, California, where she was happily barista-ing at the time. Jonathan was on tour with a band as its manager.
Years later, the Carrolls set off to pursue their dream with the name Songbird already in mind, only to find the painted bird-covered building monOrchid. Jonathan hopes to work with monOrchid manager Wayne Rainey to book concerts in the common area.
The 675-square-foot corner space takes on the industrial yet modern persona of monOrchid, adding its own charm in the form of woodworking and art. Erin's father, a retired woodshop teacher, built stools and bars out of reclaimed wood from her hometown, and Jonathan's father donated his colored pencil drawings to decorate the walls. Other contributing artists and builders include Joby Dutton and Andrew Walker of Verge Design, Isaac Caruso, and Kristine Deininger.
The beverage menu consists of locally roasted Cortez coffee, served pour-over style, and Tucson-based Maya Tea Company selections. Other options spelled out in Scrabble tiles include Thai tea, espresso spritzers, and Cubano and bombón style sweetened espresso shots. Milk substitutions include soy, rice, goat or almond milk.
Songbird's hours currently are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.