PIQUA – Remember zany Phoebe, who strummed the guitar to the tune “Smelly Cat” in the Central Perk coffeehouse on the popular ‘90s sitcom “Friends”? One budding local entrepreneur hopes to bring some “modern-day coffeehouse” flavor – minus Lisa Kudrow – to her newly-opened Turntable Café located at 122 W. High St.
Thirty-something Kelsey McDowell, a Troy native, anticipates adding some evening entertainment to her downtown business described as a “gourmet coffee and specialty baked goods” café.
While a formal opening is not scheduled until July, McDowell enjoyed a “soft opening” this week and the foot traffic to and from downtown locations. Formerly the home of Winan’s Chocolates & Coffees, the café location is ideal for this millennial, who contemplated opening a food truck until discovering the attractive space.
The music-themed shop is equipped with a state-of-the-art semi-automatic espresso machine equipped to handle a variety of beverages. Among menu items are cappuccinos, frozen hot chocolates, espresso, lattes, green tea smoothies, chai latte and other signature drinks such as The Gentleman aka The Tuxedo, Classy Lady and The Dizzy Oompa Loompa, among others.
A wooden board of ink-stamped menu items and prices is hoisted on a wall behind the counter and alongside a tantalizing variety of home-baked pastry items such as muffins, donuts and cookies made daily by McDowell and her staff. The café décor includes comfortable tables, chairs and sofas for patrons to visit, read or schedule a quick meeting with friends or business acquaintances. Musical memorabilia will soon be added to the wall space.
Among the five employees hired by McDowell are Rhonda Kniess, 25, of West Milton, who is a massage therapist when not at the café and Katie Sebring, a sophomore pre-med major at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. All are trained baristas.
McDowell, whose daughter, Mia, is eight months old, grew up working in after-school programs and concession stands at The Troy Rec Center. She’s a music aficionado who is known for her talent on piano and guitar who, at one time, was a former drummer who loves to sing.
“Once I get comfortable (with the café opening), I hope to offer some Saturday evening entertainment such as acoustic music, poetry readings and arts of all forms as family friendly fun” once library hours are closed, McDowell noted.
Hours at the Turntable Café are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. There are no Sunday hours. Patrons can visit the website at www.turntable-cafe.com
Sharon Semanie is a journalist and longtime Piqua resident. She can be reached at [email protected]