Downtown Boise will soon have another coffee shop that's not just another coffee shop—The Crux will also serve local and regional beer and provide a venue for live music.
Bob Cooper and his oldest son, Quentin, were hard at work on Nov. 3, preparing for The Crux’s grand opening in three weeks.
The expansive space, located at 1022 W. Main St., features a bar area with massive cooler cases and a gleaming espresso machine. The other half of the building is a seating and entertainment area, scattered with tables and chairs and topped off with a stage for live performances. Light streams in through the plate glass windows at the front of the room, behind the stage.
The Crux will serve Stumptown coffee from Portland, Ore., as well as local microbrews and beers from Northwest brewers such as Portland's Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.
Bob, his wife and two sons went to Stumptown's headquarters for special training about the coffee, its history and how best to prepare it. The Crux’s four employees will also go through Stumptown's training program.
Bob, who also owns a hardwood flooring and construction business in Portland, learned about Stumptown years ago when he visited a local coffee shop that served the iconic brew. He said the baristas there became his friends; when they learned he was opening a coffee shop in Boise, they all suggested Stumptown beans.
"I honestly would never have opened this coffee shop if we couldn't set up an arrangement with these guys. It's unbelievable coffee," says Bob.
A whiff of the beans, hand-selected to be the cherries, or highest quality beans in a harvest, proves Bob's point. The aroma is fresh, earthy and enthralling.
The Crux will fill a niche in Boise, providing both coffee and beer. Other breweries The Crux has established relationships with are locals Payette Brewing Co. and Sockeye Brewery, and Deschutes Brewery from Bend, Ore.
Bob also hopes to include wine in the future. So far, he says he is still learning about local and regional wine options. Bob plans to ask his suppliers for suggestions and poll his customers.
The Crux is also unique in that Bob and his sons are building furniture, fixtures and some of the walls themselves. Everything from the bar to the tables, chairs and even the piano is recycled or made from sustainable materials.
Bob proudly shows off the bases of the tables, which are made from old car parts and re-purposed flooring samples from his other business.
"Every piece of wood in here is recycled," he explains. Pointing to the base of one of the tables, he adds, "These are brake drums and recycled steel from Pacific Metal."
Bob also plans to maintain a clean aesthetic in The Crux, with limited decorations on the walls and ample space to show work by local artists. So far, he says a number of local artists have approached him about showing their work. Bob hopes that he will be able to rotate art approximately every two weeks and to hold what he describes as "get-togethers" when new art goes on display.
Quentin, who has started his own band, has been using The Crux's space to rehearse, but his won't be the only act taking the stage.
Bob says The Crux will feature "people my age that used to have bands back in the ’70s that don't play anymore just because there's no place for them anymore, young bands that have never played any place before, and everything in between."
Check back for details about the grand-opening celebration in the coming weeks. The Crux is an all-ages venue, and will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.