Drop by Jet City Espresso
in Seminole Heights and you may find yourself in the midst of a jam session. Guitars, ukulele and banjo, within easy reach of a comfy couch, are invitations for the musically inclined to start strumming and singing. A tuner and pick are on the mantelpiece.
They aren't just a decorative whim.
"We don't mind if you pick them up and play them," says Jet City General Manager Veronica Lee.
Within the past month this Seattle-style coffee house has settled into a 1920s bungalow at 5803 N. Florida Ave. The house is the former location for Jai Dee Yoga and Wellness Studio
which moved to its new location at 5610 N. Nebraska Ave.
Owner Jessica Glover did little to change the warm, earthy decor of the bungalow's interior beyond adding a kitchen and preparation area. "The inside was just so gorgeously done," Glover says. "We didn't have to change that."
Glover opened her first Jet City Espresso
nearly three years ago in her Hyde Park home on South Edison Avenue. The Seminole Heights' coffee house is an expansion into a revitalized neighborhood that Glover has had her eye on for quite some time.
"We like the uniqueness here, the community of people," Glover says. "We love to see it turning around and focusing on the positive. I'm super happy with this here."
A grand opening in Seminole Heights is in the planning stages within the next weeks. And, Lee says open mic nights will follow with Irish and folk music among the genres that will be played.
An alcohol beverage license to sell beer and wine is pending and extended hours are anticipated. For now the coffee shop is open for breakfast and lunch.
Glover bakes daily, offering an assortment of scones, breads, bagels, quiches and cakes. The menu also has fresh salads and sandwiches. Gluten-free and paleo options are available.
Freshly ground and brewed lattes and coffees are poured, including Jet City's signature "Cafe Borgia," a honey, orange infused latte with nutmeg and orange zest.
Glover favors local produce and fresh foods and recyclable/compostable products.
Some of her menu items go back 18 years to when she first opened a Jet City Espresso in Tampa in the mid-1990s. "It was the first Seattle-style coffee in Tampa," says Glover, a Seattle native. "I was light years ahead of the game. It was so new to Tampa."
She closed her shop after five years and opened a restaurant in Colorado. In 2008 Glover returned to Tampa and revived Jet City Espresso, a concept that is in tune with its time.
"I love it," says Glover.