While Tasty Green's mission is to refuel and recaffeinate civil servants quickly and efficiently, a few blocks away, the espresso bar is offering coffee with fewer frills and some attitude. Owners Sanford Bledsoe and Anna Foster call theirs a "pop-up" coffeehouse, though not in the sense that it opens at unpredictable times, and certainly not in the sense that it's in any way illegal. In fact, the building in Braun Court, which used to be a restaurant called Fuji, is blessed with some infrastructure many coffeehouse owners would kill for: a commercial kitchen. Bledsoe and Foster re-licensed it, and Foster uses it to make whatever treats she feels like. "She makes all kinds of different stuff," Bledsoe says. "We have scones today. Yesterday we had biscuits. Sometimes on the weekends she makes French toast."
Twenty-three-year-old Foster says she has no training, though that isn't strictly true: "I studied at Washtenaw for a few weeks before deciding I was bored of it, then I worked at Zingerman's Bakehouse for a couple of months."
The espresso bar came about because their friend Ted Kennedy, who co-owns the similarly unadvertised Bar at 327 Braun Court, upstairs, was only occasionally using the downstairs for screenings of his experimental films. Bledsoe and Foster asked if they could put it to use as a cafe. Decorated with their own furniture (some wooden tables and what looks like the ratty corner booth from an old diner), the venture is, according to Bledsoe, "low risk and possibly short term"--a stopgap while he and Foster figure out whether they want to go into business in a more serious and permanent way.
the espresso bar, 327 Braun Ct., no phone. Tues.-Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mon.