DJ Fernandes Opens Vovomeena and Makes a Very Big Deal about Coffee

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Editor's Note: After this post was published, the owner indicated that Vovomeena will not open until next Tuesday, possibly later. The post has been edited to reflect that. We'll keep you posted

DJ Fernandes, the architect and co-owner of Tuck Shop and Astor House, has partnered up with Jessica Ruiz again to open Vovomeena -- a breakfast/brunch restaurant on the southeast corner of 7th Avenue and McDowell, slated to open this month.

See also: Tastemaker #87: DJ Fernandes See also: Here Are the First Drafts of the Menus for Vovomeena, the New Breakfast and Brunch Spot From the Owner of Tuck Shop and Astor House

As a quirky indie serving Japanese cold brew coffee (way, way better than the overrated, overpriced, conventional brews at Starbucks), Vovomeena promises to do phenomenally well.

Coffee aficionados swear by the cold brew method, which involves steeping coarse-grind coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time. The resulting coffee is said to have a different (and better) flavor profile -- sweeter and less acidic -- than coffee brewed by conventional methods.

Here's a schematic of how the process works.

According to Fernandes, coffee has good (that is, desirable) acids and bad (undesirable) acids. The cold brew method coaxes out the good stuff (including subtle flavors that might be indiscernible through conventional brewing) and minimizes the bad stuff -- bitterness, for example.

As one coffee lover I know puts it, "cold brew is the cat's ass." Fernandes says his staff at Astor House, where he has one Japanese cold brew machine, are so crazy about cold brew coffee that they refer to it as "riding the snake," a slang phrase for addiction.

Fernandes expects his cold brews to appeal to the coffee cognoscenti who tend to throw around the same adjectives -- "bright," "fruity" and "chocolate-y," for example -- as wine mavens do.

Vovomeena will be selling Roc2 coffee (Dave Anderson's Roastery of Cave Creek) in different cold brew styles (including a house blend called Black and Tan) and offering them in flights for the ultra-geeky.

Meanwhile, you don't even have to like coffee to love this breakfast/brunch menu. Check it out:


Fernandes went to architecture school at Tulane In New Orleans and his grandmother Vovomeena has roots in Portugal, which explains his super-appealing menu, reflecting Euro-Portuguese and Southern influences. I can't wait to try this place! And, of course, the coffee.

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