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New location but same formula for Short North Coffee House

Short North Coffee House located at 1203 N. High St. is currently under construction. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Assistant Sports Editor

Short North Coffee House located at 1203 N. High St. is currently under construction. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Assistant Sports Editor

The coffee will soon flow again during all hours of the day for a local coffee shop.

After being dormant for nearly nine months, Short North Coffee House is nearing the end of its relocation process and will reopen on May 6 at 9 a.m., the store recently announced.

Many of the shop’s distinguishing aspects — namely being open 24 hours a day and a menu that stretches beyond coffee and bakery items — will be intact when it opens at its new location of 1203 N. High St., just two doors south of West Fifth Avenue.

“I can’t wait until we open,” said Cynthia Valentini, an employee who worked at the store for years up until its midsummer closure. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

The store, which was previously situated at 1195 N. High St., closed in mid-July after the landlord opted to forgo renewing the lease, said Inayat Ullah, the coffee shop’s owner. He quickly began scouting new locations, including some closer to campus, for his business to reopen at.  

Ullah eventually settled on the one a few doors north, where he is eager to illuminate the “open” sign once again.

Those who patronized Short North Coffee House at its former location will not be caught off guard when they enter the new store, both Ullah and Valentini said.

The menu and the local artwork that blanketed the former location’s walls remain. Even the light fixtures from the old place — which resemble upside-down, plastic-white roses — are already suspended from the ceiling.

“About the only difference is it’s going to be a little bit smaller,” Valentini said, adding the store’s couch won’t be there in order to make room for more tables. “It was usually pretty full anyway, so now that might be worse. But everything else will be the same.”

The Columbus coffee scene is rather dense, especially in the Short North, where local shops serving java-based beverages dot the cultural arts district. Ullah said he knows that what differentiates his store from the crowd is its 24-hour service and a menu that contains not just bakery items, but breakfast sandwiches, grilled cheese and flatbread pizzas, to name a few.

These two features were strategically included early on in the store’s existence, which dates back to 2009 when it was called Travonna Coffee House, Ullah said.

“Many people come to have coffee and study,” he said. “And they’re all so happy they don’t have to go outside for food. They have everything — coffee, food, wifi — in one facility for them.”

The 24-hour service is especially popular among students and those with nontraditional work schedules, Valentini said. At the old location, she recalls often seeing the same students studying at odd hours of the night.

For Chase Ruhlen, he falls under both categories. The third-year in marketing works third shift at The Blackwell Inn, and he said he tries to maintain a consistent sleep pattern on his nights off. As a result, Short North Coffee House was his primary study sanctuary to avoid keeping his roommates awake.

“It’s perfect for an all-nighter. I know I wrote a 15-page paper there once,” Ruhlen said, adding he can’t wait for it to reopen, especially with final exams looming.

The nine-month closure has been hard, Valentini said, because she misses seeing the regular customers. Now she’s just counting down the days until the familiar faces return and the sounds and scents of renovation give way to the aroma of brewing coffee.

“Believe me, the first shot of espresso is going to be mine,” Valentini said. “Oh, and I want one of our grilled cheeses again, too.”

Editor’s note: This post as been updated to reflect the official opening date of Short North Coffee House. Upon initial publication, the story contained only the owner’s estimated opening date. 

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