Lucabe Coffee breathes new life into a Harry Weese building in central Indiana Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

Photo by Hadley Fruits, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

based in Columbus, Indiana Cafe Lucabe opened its second location inside the former Irwin Union Bank building, originally designed by the famous mid-20th century architect Harry weese.

Lucabe’s co-owners Tyler and Alissa Hodge coordinated with Indianapolis Contemporary Architecture Studio Girl Design Plus for a substantial remodel of the interior of the iconic glazed brick building, giving it new life as a cafe while restoring and showcasing many of the original interior details.

seats inside

Photo by Hadley Fruits, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

Inside the approximately 3,000 square foot retail space, a cubicle farm was cleaned to make way for new plumbing and electrical lines to support a new quartz service counter. Carpet and glue have been removed from the floors to reveal an original pattern of alternating stone tiles.

Gray, black and natural wood surfaces now accentuate the sense of modern sophistication, while the original vault has been converted to contain some of life’s most precious treasures.


Photo by Hadley Fruits, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

“We kept a lot of the unique pieces of the safe for decorating purposes, but reused them in the kids’ area,” Tyler Hodge told The Daily Coffee News.

Lucabe’s original location in downtown Columbus has a play area with a variety of coffee-themed toys, while the new shop of course offers a family-themed play area. Bank.

Hodge said, “We set out to design a family-friendly coffee shop where children feel as welcome as adults. “


Photo by Brianna Wolterman, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

Weese, a famous Chicago Modernist architect who also gained fame for historic preservation and modern railroad design, designed many buildings in Columbus in the 1950s and 1960s. The building now inhabited by Lucabe turned 60 this year .

What was originally a car lane has been converted into a patio seating area. However, a separate drive-thru station was built into one of the building’s four castle-shaped crenellated towers.

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In the days of building banks, each tower housed live teller machines and a pneumatic tube system. Lucabe has transformed three of the towers into storage spaces while through the window at the wheel of the fourth, a barista gently delivers the goods.

“We couldn’t get coffee from a tube as much as we wanted,” Hodge told DCN. “A lot of thought and intention has gone into how we actually serve coffee from that and the adaptive reuse of this tower. “

cafe architecture

Photo by Hadley Fruits, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

A group of 3 Synesso The MVP espresso machine serves as the main motor for the store, with a La Marzocco Linea AV on the “rear bar” for the drive. Coffees from both stores, including its house blend, single origin coffees, and beans packaged in Lucabe-branded retail bags are roasted by Louisville, Kentucky. Sunergos Cafe.

coffee bar

Photo by Brianna Wolterman, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

“We’ve become one of their biggest customers, and it’s a great relationship,” Hodge said. “They provide great coffee and that allows us to focus on what we’re doing right. We can get into roasting at some point, but at this point creating great experiences is really our goal. “

cafe building

Photo by Hadley Fruits, courtesy of Lucabe Coffee Co.

Lucabe Coffee “At the Bank” is now open at 2531 Eastbrook Plz in Columbus, Indiana. Tell us about your new coffee or roast here.

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