With a psychology degree under his belt and years of work experience as a carpenter, working at a coffee shop may seem like an unusual choice for 23-year-old Kyle Harris. But it was the obvious one -- his parents are the owners.
The Bottom Line Coffee House, owned by Harris' parents Al and Pat, opened Monday on Third and Prentis St. in the Cass Corridor neighborhood of Detroit Monday. After an eye-blink of a commute from his apartment upstairs in the Beethoven building, Kyle Harris will come in daily to manage the shop.
"It's a family affair," Harris said.
The Bottom Line joins the stream (or tiny trickle, depending on your outlook) of coffeeshops to open lately. Most recently, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, which is a mere six blocks from the Harris' space, opened earlier in July. But Harris says he isn't worried about overcrowding.
"It doesn't feel like competition, because each individual coffee shop in the the Detroit area has its own particular flavor," he said. "It's a big city -- there's enough people and enough coffee for everybody."
The Bottom Line's atmosphere gears itself toward meeting the needs of students at Wayne State University -- a gap left by the recent closing of Thistle Coffee House on Second Ave. Once the semester begins, the owners plan to extend hours, tentatively staying open until midnight during the week and later on the weekends, for people who want to hang out late but have few options besides bars. They also plan to host art shows in the space, which has indoor and outdoor seating, and are eager to work with students and neighbors who have ideas.
While the Harris family didn't start out as coffee people, they've put in the work in the long ramp-up to their opening, including training and tips from Chicago coffee connoisseurs Intelligentsia, who also provide some of their teas and espresso. Coffee comes from Righteous Bean in Centerline, Mich., and Traffic Jam and Snug will be supplying the pastries -- including doughnuts.
"While I don't claim we're professionals in any form, we definitely are enthusiasts," Harris said. "The bottom line is, we're trying to make the best we can out of this."
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, the Harris family was incorrectly referred to by the last name Hall, and Righteous Bean was said to be in Middle Line rather than Centerline, Mich. The Huffington Post regrets the errors.