Sure, The Joule Hotel's Coffee Shop Is Pretty. But Weekend's Coffee Is Also Totally Legit.
Welcome to Unfiltered, our weekly feature that explores the Dallas coffee scene — and how it often manages to thrive in the most unusual places. Given that we live in a time when Starbucks locations are about as prevalent as the golden McDonald's arches, when new coffee shops seem to open every other week and when almost everyone uses a ChemEx to brew their coffee, we're here to show you some alternatives — for when your coffee shop routine becomes monotonous or when you're just looking for something different in your caffeine endeavors.
1511 Commerce Street.
Line up all of the places where you can score a cup of coffee in Dallas, and Weekend, without a doubt, will find itself on the trendier end of that spectrum.
It certainly looks the part. Weekend was designed by Los Angeles-based designer and shop co-owner Joe Cole, who, in addition to also conceiving the Tenoversix retail space conveniently located across the street, also had a hand in designing the lobby of The Joule Hotel, to which Weekend is affixed.
It's a largely simple design when you break it down. And definitely a modern one, too. But it's effective: Immediately, your eye is drawn to the bar — and to an appropriately placed neon coffee cup sign, in case you weren't quite sure what you were doing here. Seating is sparse, limited to a few stylish leather bar stools on one side of the shop, with some additional, more welcoming seating areas located outside of Weekend’s opened, technically fourth wall, which leads back into The Joule’s lobby. Meticulously arranged merchandise lines another wall, these wares seeming more like decorations than anything else until you notice the well-designed menu with enclosed prices.
Long story short: If not for the smell of coffee floating in the air, you'd think Weekend was a boutique.
It's just a different kind of shop. The small, stream-lined space isn't exactly the type of place where you go to set up shop and take advantage of the free wifi while caffeinating yourself for the day. No, its location inside of the Joule is more suitable for the swank feeling you get while sipping on freshly made coffee.
But it works. It really does. Hoards of caffeine addicts and urbanites flock to the place on the regular. The design is a major part of it.
“That artistic, well thought-out scheme of things bled into our coffee,” says assistant manager Edgar Salmeron.
Here, the focus is placed on the life cycle of coffee and a commitment to third wave craft coffee. For non-coffee nerds, this basically just means that they genuinely care about where and how their coffee is produced, focusing on sustainable growing methods and serving high-quality, hand-crafted drinks.
“It's so intense,” says Salmeron about third wave craft coffee. “I feel privileged to be a part of it. It's just a new kind of way of thinking of coffee, pushing forward from all the previous expectations. It's about expanding to lighter roasts and different brew methods, bringing science in.”
The coffee served at weekend comes from Victrola Coffee Roasters out of Seattle, and the staff frequently rotates the single origin coffees that are featured, so as to provide customers with a wide range of tastes. New coffees can show up on the board as often as every week, depending on the availability of a crop. But Weekend always tries to have its standard Empire Blend and Streamline Espresso blend available for its signature taste.
Currently, one of the single origins available is a Guatemalan, which the staff highly recommends as a V60 pourover. The coffee has a full body taste without being acidic, which is usually an issue with a lot of light roasts. It's well-balanced, with hints of chocolate, brown sugar and oatmeal, and it's complemented by a clean aftertaste.
For the espresso lovers, the staff recommends “The Californian” (a four shot latte with a shot of agave), “The Gibraltar” (two shots of espresso with roughly two ounces of steamed milk, or basically a cortado) or a simple vanilla latte with a vanilla tastes that's so wholesome you'd think the coffee grew that way.
Oh, and this is pretty rad: If the encroaching warm weather has you shying away from the idea of hot drinks, Weekend also sells a 16-ounce glass-bottled cold brew.
“It's cool,” says Salmeron. “You want cold brew, but you don't wanna drink it right away, or you come in after work and it's for the next morning. You can just take a couple and stock up. They last a pretty good while.. And it gets you pretty jacked up.”
Here, the cold brew is made with the same tower extraction method that's starting to become popular around town, making for a heavy and potent cold coffee that's still as smooth and sweet as you'd want it to be. With cream, the drink has a dessert-like element to it that almost gives it a chocolate milk vibe.
In addition to a great range of options, Weekend also recently started doing small batch coffee for the time-conscious drinker. These batches come in gallon- to gallon-and-a-half-sized canisters, and are made in about seven minutes with a more scientific take on normal drip-brewing methods.
Point is, while Weekend's certainly pretty, there's depth here, too.
“It's exciting to be in coffee right now,” Salmeron says. “We're going back to the basics, basically.”
Just on a higher level, is all.