SNEAK PEEK: New Dayton coffee shop will blend java with jazz music

A coffee shop is in the works in the South Park neighborhood of Dayton that will also include jazz music, tea and if things go as planned, a dram or two of alcohol for certain coffee drinks.

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The new business will be called Wholly Grounds, and it could open as early as April at 825 Wayne Ave. in Dayton. The space previously housed Lindy & Company Gourmet Pet Treats, which moved its operations to South Patterson Boulevard more than a year ago. And the new coffee shop will be next door to what will soon become the city of Dayton's newest brewery, Branch & Bone Artisan Ales.

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Wholly Grounds is the brainchild of Amy Williams and her husband Robert Boyd, who live on Hickory Street on the edge of the South Park neighborhood.

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Williams is a self-professed “coffee snob” — her husband prefers the term “aficionado” — and both fell in love with the building, which dates to the 19th century. The couple bought the building in October, and Boyd has been hard at work with renovations, including removing several layers of flooring to get to what is believed to be the original wood floors. The shop will seat about 50.

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“I want to create an environment that is inclusive and inviting,” Williams said. “A place that has good good and great music, so people can sit and relax and forget their cares for a few hours.”

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Wholly Grounds’ food menu will be relatively simple, at least initially, and will include items such as muffins, bagels and coffee cakes. Plans call for adding a roastery in the coffee shop and roasting beans on-site, for use in the shop, for retail sales, and perhaps later for wholesale sales, Williams and Boyd said.

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Jazz music is also a passion for Williams, and she and Boyd are planning “jazz mornings” on the weekends.

The business has applied for state liquor licenses that would allow it to serve a full array of wine and spirits. Boyd said he envisions serving Irish coffee and variants. A second floor of the coffee shop will be utilized for special events, he said.

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Wholly Grounds will be located between two existing Wayne Avenue coffee shops — Ghostlight Coffee four blocks to the southeast, and Press Coffee Bar six blocks to the northwest — creating a coffee-shop district of sorts.

Both existing Wayne Avenue coffee shops were in the top three in the Best of 2017 voting for “Best Coffeehouse,” the winners of which were announced earlier this month. Ghostlight Coffee captured first place in the online vote, and Press was third.

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