The Nashville coffee landscape gained a distinctive cafe and roastery this August in Berry Hill. Stay Golden is the latest project from Sean Stewart, Jamie Cunningham, and Nathanael Mehrens. Last December, they began working with parent company, DesignWorks on the concept and enlisted many familiar faces from the Nashville coffee community to be part of it. The trio have all worked in various parts of the Nashville coffee scene for the last several years, Steadfast Coffee being their most recent project. Cunningham said this concept is an evolution on their thoughts on coffee and hospitality and a “resurrection and completion of ideas and past projects.”
When you walk in the door of Stay Golden, you know you’re experiencing something different. One of the first things you see when you walk in is the bright blue Linea PB. Alongside the espresso machine are two Nuova Simonelli Mythos Clima Pro grinders plus a Fetco XTS, and a Mahlkonig EK43 for filter coffee. The space is bright with pastel and gold accents. As you walk toward the end of the hall, you see inside the kitchen, then inside the roastery. Or, climb the stairs and take a seat on the mezzanine overlooking it all. You have the option to order to go at the counter or sit a while and order from your table.
Stewart explained that they’re going back to coffee’s first roots in America, which was largely part of the restaurant experience. Stay Golden not only has a robust coffee menu, but food and bar menus as well. They’re upholding quality in every facet of the offerings, not just the coffee. “We realized the way to create a sustainable living in the coffee industry is truly to be a restaurant. Be a restaurant first, then be one that serves amazing coffee.”
This idea seems to be working for them. They have a great lineup of coffees, including single origins and their Chin Up blend, which is a combination of coffees from Peru and Columbia, all roasted by Stewart. The filter coffee is refracted and dialed in daily and each coffee often has a different EK grind setting to bring out the best in each coffee. I tried the La Ceiba from Huehuetenango, Guatemala as espresso. It had an aroma of milk chocolate and tasted like orange and dark chocolate. Brewed in filter format, a stone fruit sweetness emerges.
In addition to great espresso and filter coffee, they have a lineup of specialty coffee drinks on the menu, including Cunningham, Stewart, and Mehrens’ Matchless Coffee Soda–the tangy, sweet, and refreshing drink that can be spotted in many cafes and restaurants around Nashville. They also have the Calypso and A Good Morning, which are, respectively, flash chilled coffee sweetened with falernum and topped with heaving whipping cream and a rested espresso drink made with corn milk and warming spices. I tried the Calypso and it was creamy, yet refreshing. It had traces of anise and an aroma that reminded me of malted milk.
For all their coffee know how, the staff at Stay Golden are more focused on your experience. “If you’re not paying attention or don’t want to pay attention, this is just a good cup of coffee. But if you want to pay attention, you have the opportunity to geek out with our barista staff. For us it’s kind of this fun game of meeting you where you are. that goes a long way in creating a space for our guests,” said Cunningham.
Be sure to stop in and experience this seasoned crew’s hospitality. Whether you’re in need of morning coffee, lunch, or a place to relax after work with friends, Stay Golden has you covered.
Stay Golden is open Monday-Friday 7-7 and 8-5 on Saturday and Sunday and are located at 2934 Sidco Drive #130.
Photos courtesy of Bread & Butter PR.