Harrison County

Come on in! Coffee’s fresh, hot at new downtown Gulfport shop

Check out the attention to detail at the new Coast Roast Coffee & Tea.

You won't believe the attention to detail at the new Coast Roast Coffee & Tea in Gulfport on Highway 49.
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You won't believe the attention to detail at the new Coast Roast Coffee & Tea in Gulfport on Highway 49.

It’s been an eventful renovation, but Shawn Montella is at last ready to open the doors Friday to Coast Roast Coffee & Tea on the main drag downtown.

Montella bounced around the shop Tuesday, checking this detail and that.

The devil, after all, is in the details, especially for Montella, who wants everything just so. The stools for the outdoor coffee bar are painted to match the yellow fire hydrant on the curb. The front door, almost 12 feet high, is crafted from Asian teak. Coast Roast signs had to be taken down and replaced because the letters looked a little off, as did the red border.

“I’m excited about it,” Montella said. “This is our first ground-up venture.”

Montella renovated an old bank in Long Beach for the family’s first location, Bankhouse Coffee. He also has a wholesale Coast Roast business in Long Beach, and Coast Roast locations in New Orleans and Ponchatoula, Louisiana. This is the first Mississippi Coast Roast.

Adventure, rather than venture, might be the best way to describe this renovation.

Montella had a vision for the squat cinder block building just north of the tracks on 25th Avenue. But he had no idea what was behind that concrete — a prefabricated metal building inside a building, as it turned out.

The old Falk’s Waffle Shop, a diner that offered curb service, was in the original building.

Montella expanded the location inside and out. He wound up completely gutting the building. He’s installed heavy duty garage doors as windows out front and on the south side. Coffee bars at the windows have granite counter tops.

Heavy beams with support bolts accent the interior, as do custom wood cabinets. An espresso machine, a limited-edition reproduction of a popular model Faema made in 1961, lights the main counter. A second machine will serve the drive-thru.

The menu board is ready to hang behind the counter. The wares at Coast Roast really make the place. Montella has gotten into coffee in a big way. He roasts his own beans in the Long Beach warehouse, in refurbished machines that are 100 years old.

Montella’s coffee shops sell coffee by the cup and the pound. At any given time, he said, 13 varieties of whole bean coffee will be available. There are seasonal selections, too, such as Jingle Bell Java, a mix of vanilla, praline and hazelnut with a hint of cinnamon.

Montella also struck a deal with one of his neighbors, Quality Bakery, which will be supplying fresh baked goods each day.

Coast Roast will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with expanded weekend hours a possibility.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

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