Business

This Bellingham coffee bar offers a new way to look at a cup of joe

New Bellingham coffee shop offers variety brewed with precision

Kevin Bailey of the new Primer Coffee shop. next to Elizabeth Station in Bellingham, demonstrates how the Seraphim coffee pour-over machine works, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.
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Kevin Bailey of the new Primer Coffee shop. next to Elizabeth Station in Bellingham, demonstrates how the Seraphim coffee pour-over machine works, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

When Patrick McEvoy opened Elizabeth Station five years ago, his goal was to make it a popular neighborhood gathering place. He wants to reach out even further with his latest venture.

McEvoy partnered with Charles Hanson and Edwin Martinez to open Primer, which is in the same building as Elizabeth Station at 1400 W. Holly St. Primer is a specialty coffee bar that offers farm-direct beans, creating a variety of drinks not typically seen in cafes, including a Sparkling Cascara. It also has the traditional roasted coffee options for those who just want a cup of joe, he said.

The beans will come from specific farms from around the world based on the season, McEvoy said. Martinez, who also operates the importing company Onyx Coffee, is bringing in beans from his farm in Guatemala.

“The coffee will come from incredibly specific locations, because it is a slightly different taste from plantation to plantation,” McEvoy said. “Even an elevation change makes a difference in the taste.”

The coffee will come from incredibly specific locations, because it is a slightly different taste from plantation to plantation. Even an elevation change makes a difference in the taste.

Patrick McEvoy, a founding partner in Primer coffee bar

With a modern design that uses a lot of white paint and light brown wood, it has a different look neighboring Elizabeth Station, which offers thousands of craft beers. While the owners are definitely counting on the nearby neighborhoods for Primer’s success, they also hope to draw coffee enthusiasts from all over. Since Primer’s soft opening in November, word has been getting around the coffee community and the owners have met people from around the West Coast.

“We’ve had a fun crosscut (of customers),” Hanson said. “Some enjoy trying out the coffee and beer, but we’ve also met new people who were not into beer.”

McEvoy admits he wasn’t into coffee initially, but is starting to become a fan. He said there is so much more flavor in coffee when it’s prepared in different ways. He was skeptical until he tried out some coffee bars in San Francisco.

“I live here in the neighborhood and was happy to see how people received Elizabeth Station,” McEvoy said. “(With Primer) I wanted to bring something a little different into the neighborhood that they would be pleased to see.”

Primer wants to be a place where people can sample drinks, so it has public coffee cupping at 2 p.m. each Saturday as well as special events.

Along with coffee, the cafe offers baked goods. The owners plan to add small-plate items, like cheese and avocado toast.

Primer is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and is having grand opening events throughout March. Details can be found on its website or Facebook page.

OTHER TIDBITS

The Copper Hog Gastropub at 1327 N. State St. quietly shut down earlier this month, posting a note on the front door stating it’s closed for renovations. An outgoing phone message indicates the business will be back in the spring. Messages left for owner Aaron Matson were not returned. Along with renovations, the Copper Hog is also facing a major financial obstacle. On Feb. 13, a federal IRS tax lien was filed totaling $227,549 in unpaid taxes and fees. ... A state liquor license application was submitted for The Blue Abode Bar, which is proposing to go in at 2925 Newmarket St. The applicants are Michael and Katy Hartmaier.

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