The Bottom Line
By Malia Gaddy
Special to the Michigan Citizen
After two years of operation, the Bottom Line Cafe has established itself as a Midtown option for coffee and tea drinkers, as well as a creative space for local artists. Located in the basement of the Beethoven Apartments, this growing Black-owned coffee shop is tucked in the Cass Corridor area at Third and Prentis.
Since opening in July 2012, Kyle Harris and his parents Al and Pat serve the fast-paced lifestyles found in a college environment and creatively-progressive area.
“It’s a grind,” says Harris. “It’s hard because people are going to the store to get their coffee, they’re going to the gas station to get their coffee, or the Starbucks or wherever they go for their coffee. Being a small space in another building, or business, makes it even harder for us.”
But, Kyle says, it’s all about word of mouth. “Getting our name in the market. All the people around us, the locals are truly the heart and soul of our business, because without them, our business wouldn’t have made it past our first year.”
When entering the Bottom Line, one is met by natural light seeping through the windows that line the front wall, and a soothing aroma of freshly ground coffee. Local art lines the walls; plants add to the atmosphere. There is a quiet room available for intimate study or interviews, a selection of albums for purchase, and a television/speaker system able to connect to an individual’s laptop allowing customers the opportunity to share and promote creative content.
“We really try to keep it as close to home as possible, and we wanted to make sure the people knew that,” Harris told the Michigan Citizen. “We try to incorporate artists, musicians, writers, anything and everything we could get our hands on we wanted to throw into the shop because we know they are going to be the people that would really drive us over the top.”
The Bottom Line is available for filming, photography and drawing. They select local “Artists of the Month,” and host an open mic every Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Harris’ are grateful for both their customers and the artists who frequent their cafe.
It’s been a progressive, exciting, and humbling two years, according to Harris.
“People come in from all over and (they) love it. That’s what we’re trying to keep,” he says. “We’re trying to keep them. (Always saying), ‘Make sure you come back.’ ‘Make sure you come see us (again).’ Because we really want to embrace the community and make sure the people not just in the Midtown area know about us, but for the (folks) near Dexter to know about us and the Eastern Market to know about us.”
The Bottom Line Coffee House is located at 4474 3rd St., Detroit. For more information, visit www.tblcoffeehouse.com or call 313.638.2759.