New Kid on the Block: Coffee Noir

Coffee NoirI've pretty much been in love with my neighborhood since I moved in: the location, my friendly, outgoing neighbors, the green spaces where dogs are welcome to romp. The only thing missing was a coffee shop.

Enter Coffee Noir: located on the corner of 200 South and McClelland (1040 East), it occupies the building formerly known as Merit Market, which had been vacant for quite a while. In fact, more than one neighbor had commented on how the spot would make a great location for a cafe. It seems Coffee Noir owner Ben Lanoha was on the same page as the rest of us.


My first introduction to the shop happened one evening as I was biking by and noticed the lights on. The place was still under construction but due to open soon, and Ben kindly offered me a cup of coffee and told me a little about his hopes for the business. Ben's enthusiasm was contagious, and I got the feeling Coffee Noir was going to be a great addition to the neighborhood. Within a week, an outside patio was built, and by the end of February, customers were streaming in.


This afternoon, I swung by for a cup, and chatted with barista-on-duty, Mitch. He kindly offered a biscuit for my dog, waiting outside, and poured me some of the house blend, a medium/dark roast of fair trade organic (FTO) from PT's Coffee Roasting Company, out of Topeka, Kansas. Coffee Noir is the only place in Utah to carry PT's Coffee, which won Roast Magazine's 2009 Roast of the Year.

He also showed me a little latte art (cool expresso/foamy milk designs), which he's been practicing, under the guidance of Ben. In addition to tasty (and pretty!) coffee, the shop offers pastries, bagels, muffins, smoothies, and the all-important free wi-fi.

I asked Mitch about the folks who come to Coffee Noir - any regulars? He confirmed that there were - most live within a few blocks, and lots come from the U (University of Utah), which makes sense, since it's only a few blocks away. There are the occasional customers in scrubs from the hospital down the street.

But there's also been a group of older folks from the senior center next door, he noted. They come in every other day to get coffee and talk. A multi-generation, dog-friendly, community-minded, direct-trade-serving, outside-seating-offering, neighborhood coffee shop. What's not to like?

Details: Coffee Noir 801-532-1888, M-F 6a-8p, S-S 7a-8p