East Pole Coffee expanding with second Atlanta location

East Pole Coffee Co. bagged coffees
East Pole Coffee Co. bagged coffees

Credit: C. W. Cameron

Credit: C. W. Cameron

A new coffee shop is destined for Poncey-Highland, rising from the literal ashes of another.

East Pole Coffee Co. will open in the coming months at 676 North Highland Ave. in the Plaza on Ponce development, Tomorrow’s News Today first reported. The space was formerly home to San Francisco Coffee, which closed in late 2019 after a fire. San Francisco Coffee, which has two remaining Atlanta locations, has since rebranded as Apotheos Coffee.

Jules Tompkins, who founded East Pole in 2015 with high school friend Jared Karr, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the repairs are being made to the space, with the hope of opening by the end of 2021.

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The Poncey-Highland location will join the East Pole roastery and coffee bar that opened in 2017 at 255 Ottley Drive.

Tompkins said the original location will still serve as “the mothership,” roasting coffee for both spots and any future East Pole locations.

The Poncey-Highland shop will offer expanded programming and hours, with a natural wine program and local beers served in the evenings. Food offerings will also expand, with more robust breakfast offerings and options in the evenings.

“We’d like to be a good living room for the neighborhood,” Tompkins said.

The building will feature a “massive” bar that will occupy 25% of the space. In the late afternoons and evenings, Tompkins envisions offering multiple points of service. For instance, customers who want a glass of wine can order from the bar rather than standing in line with guests wanting a cup of coffee.

In addition to community tables and bar seating, East Pole is hoping to offer outdoor seating, as well as a walk-up window for to-go orders.

Tompkins said Plaza on Ponce is an ideal space for a second location in part because of its proximity to the Ottley location.

“You don’t have to use the interstate at all to get there,” he said. “We like the proximity, we like that there’s likely familiarity in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood with our coffee. We didn’t want to bookend the city for a second location.”

Other food and beverage concepts at Plaza on Ponce include Joey Ward’s Southern Belle and Georgia Boy, Majestic Diner, Insomnia Cookies and Righteous Room.

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