A new Atascadero coffee shop is helping to shake up the city’s downtown scene.
Dark Nectar Coffee Roaster — at 5915 Entrada Ave., just north of Sunken Gardens — started brewing and roasting in Atascadero about three weeks ago. The shop is Dark Nectar’s second North County location; owner Danny Jones has been crafting his blends and single origins in Templeton for about six years.
Jones said he’s proud to be part of what he sees as Entrada Avenue’s revitalization. “This is kind of getting to be their go-to street,” he said.
Jones, who lives in Paso Robles, said he became interested in coffee roasting during his first career selling printers, copiers and other office electronics. He said he was always served coffee like water at the end of business-related meals, and noticed it never got as much attention as the wine.
The company’s logo, a hooded monk sipping a steaming cup of coffee, is a tribute to lore that imagines monks as the original coffee drinkers, Jones said. He originally planned to name his business “Bad Monk,” but said his wife nixed the idea.
Dark Nectar is primarily a wholesale roasting business, providing beans for McPhee’s Grill in Templeton and collaborating with Firestone Walker Brewing Co. on Parabajava, a limited edition stout. The roasting company also sells its products at five farmers markets throughout the county.
“We kind of land on strategic alliances with people in the industry,” Jones said.
Dark Nectar set up its second store after Jones said the business began to outgrow its Templeton location. He completely revamped the space, which he leases, and installed two roasters. Jones declined to provide financial information about the new store.
“Atascadero just has this great sense of community,” he said.
Jones said he wants the shop to be different than others, and he’s still figuring out exactly what he wants to do with the space. He’s applying for a liquor license and soon plans to sell beer made next door by Dead Oak Brewing Company, another business that’s new to Entrada Avenue.
“Retail isn’t what we were chasing,” Jones said. “But now that we’re doing it, it’s kind of fun.”