Songbird re-opening pleases customers in century old house

The relocation of Roosevelt Row hotspot Songbird Coffee and Tea House has seen satisfied customers and strong spacial and aesthetic upgrades.

Roosevelt Row favorite Songbird Coffee and Tea House has already seen immense success in its charming new home on 3rd Street.

Owner Jonathan Carroll said the shop's first week in its new space, an 111-year-old house, has been "amazing thus far."

"We were ecstatic moving out of our old space in order to completely transform and renovate the amazing 1904 house we're currently in," he said. "We love simple design, and our intention with the move was to keep as much design and decor the same, with the exception of a few changes."

Carroll, an ASU alumnus who claims to "bleed maroon and gold," co-founded and co-owns the shop with his wife, Erin Westgate Carroll, who serves as head barista and head baker.

The couple had always wanted to move into a historic house, and this one happened to suit the growth of the shop beautifully. Carroll said the house has both a patio and a backyard that can comfortably seat up to 50 people, a feature he believes customers will use for at least seven months out of the year.

"Our clientele has had nothing but fantastic things to say about the design, decor and atmosphere," Carroll said.

Although the renovations to the home are mostly complete, Carroll said a few finishing touches remain to be installed, including Songbird's signature long bookshelf.

Additionally, they are waiting for hardware to be installed in the main room's art gallery, which will showcase and support the work of local artists.

With this new space, Carroll said he hopes to introduce new events and features, including acoustic shows, poetry readings, open mic nights and open flea markets in its long driveway.

"We have what feels like a trillion freedoms to do whatever we want with our new space," Carroll added. "The ideas and concepts for what we can do seem endless compared to basically having zero freedom at our previous location."

By "previous location," Carroll was referring to the space Songbird shared with the MonOrchid Gallery.

"While transitioning into our house, our main objective was to focus on the flow, design, decor and overall atmosphere," Carroll said. "Our coffee and tea philosophies remain the same: quality, consistency and community."

However, the signature Scrabble-paneled menu design is now smaller, and Carroll said the new menu has been cut down and simplified to no longer include items such as the popular cortado, the high-fiver and the dank-dank. Baristas will still make the drink if ordered, though.

Although the space has changed, Songbird's overall mission and relationship with the community remains the same.

"There was never any doubt we'd retain our loyal following and obtain new customers with the move," Carroll said, adding that the shop has been packed every day since its re-opening.

In spite of its relocation and expansion, Carroll emphasized that his shop will never stop relating to and supporting the small business atmosphere in the area.

"It has always been our goal to engage with our community, the Roosevelt Row/Evans-Churchill neighborhood and support local small business in and around the area," he added.

Moreover, he said Songbird is looking forward to cross-promoting with Film Bar, Valley Youth Theater, MilkBar, Antique Sugar and the upcoming Barcade.

With such a strong opening week, it seems that Songbird's novel redesign in an old space is on the right track to continue being a cozy destination for old and new purveyors of Roosevelt Row.

Reach the reporter at celina.jimenez@asu.edu or on Twitter @lina_lauren.

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Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the location of Songbird and the position of Jonathan Carroll and Erin Westgate Carroll. It has since been updated.


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