Black Crow Coffee launches for St. Petersburg locals

A coffee-lovin' couple opened downtown St. Pete’s latest java hub, Black Crow Coffee Co.

click to enlarge Black Crow Coffee Co. is Old Northeast residents' newest neighbor. - B Lively Images
B Lively Images
Black Crow Coffee Co. is Old Northeast residents' newest neighbor.

Tucked away just blocks from the water in downtown St. Pete’s historic Old Northeast neighborhood rests a small café called Black Crow Coffee Co.

Earlier this month, owners Deana Hawk and Greg Bauman took their love for coffee culture and opened their own shop at 722 Second St. N., close to the Old Northeast Tavern and a few streets over from their house.

A frequent traveler in her former career as a freelance hair and makeup artist, Deana became fond of discovering the best java scenes, especially in New York’s Brooklyn area. For Greg, this is his second forray into the coffee world of Tampa Bay. His first venture, Indian Shores Coffee Co., launched on Gulf Boulevard about eight years ago.

click to enlarge HAPPY MUGS: Black Crow owners Greg Bauman and Deana Hawk. - Michael Powless
Michael Powless
HAPPY MUGS: Black Crow owners Greg Bauman and Deana Hawk.
But before the two shops, Greg owned his own restaurant and also had a farmers’ market gig in Bradenton with his kids, selling coffee and calling it Black Crow, his latest joint’s namesake. Seeking a new location for their joe that was closer to home, the couple saw a “For Lease” sign on the Second Street North building and knew it was for them.

Black Crow — which regularly serves a diverse mix of patrons, students, soccer moms and business people — is all about pleasing St. Pete locals.

Inside, the coffeehouse’s decor is simple but homey. Brick walls are adorned with a guitar and a bicycle wheel. Wooden stools, patio furniture, a few antique-looking armchairs and a high-top table outside are among the seating options. Deana and Greg say they want their customers to stop by and stay awhile, whether it’s to get work done or relax and listen to music.

click to enlarge The café carries an assortment of fresh baked goods, including muffins. - Michael Powless
Michael Powless
The café carries an assortment of fresh baked goods, including muffins.
Slightly hidden near the back corner is an old record player; patrons may bring in their own vinyl or play one that’s already there while sipping on a giant cappuccino, or one of the fun flavored lattes like the Purple Haze (chocolate, hazelnut) and Caramel Sutra (caramel, vanilla). Determined to raise the bar on taste, Black Crow uses beans from an organic and family-owned roaster. In addition to the other caffeinated creations, pour-over coffees and a cold brew made from a funky contraption are also offered.

Meanwhile, hungry sippers choose from a variety of freshly baked pastries such as butter tarts, croissants, cinnamon rolls and a customer favorite, assorted muffins. The shortbread cookies incorporate rosemary grown in the garden across the street, which can be seen from the shop’s front window.

Deana and Greg are still letting customers determine their hours, but figure they'll operate 7 a.m. to around 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

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