Our most recent blog post was written by Sydney Brackemyre. Sydney spent time with the owners of Lincoln Lane Coffee Co. to learn more about their coffee journey and is excited to share their story.
When you think about a “coffee shop,” a lot of different spaces and places can come to mind. For some it may be a place that provides the fuel you need to get to work; a quick run through for a to-go cup. For others it may be a place to hunker down and dive into a zone of quality work time. For the owners of Lincoln Lane Coffee Co., the words “coffee” and “shop” led them to imagine something slightly bigger than a run-of-the-mill cafe.
Before you get to know Lincoln Lane the coffee shop, you should really know the people and history that stand behind it. Before their Southside coffee shop was a reality, owners Brandon Mott and Derek Abner made the decision with their wives to move to the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood and renovate a house in 2007. The sole purpose for the move? In their words, to “be good neighbors.” Brandon explained that when they moved to Bates-Hendricks in 2007, they didn’t have an agenda other than simply that: to be good neighbors. Together, the couples shared the same vision and after the move they not only began renovating houses, but also began serving their neighbors in tangible ways. The Mott and Abner families started reaching out to their neighbors, offering rides to the grocery store and inviting their new friends over for dinner. Through the three year renovation of the home, the house then became “Dathouse,” DAT being an acronym of Greek words that represent their mission and vision.
D- Doulos meaning Servant
A- Agape meaning Love
T- Tapeinoo meaning Humility
Dathouse is now a 501c3 that works as a faith-based neighborhood organization run by the neighbors of Bates-Hendricks. But Dathouse didn’t stop there…
A new opportunity arose when a strip club called Sassy Kats (that stood in the same Bates-Hendricks neighborhood as Dathouse) was forced to shut down after losing their liquor license. Once the dangerous club was shut down, Dathouse decided to step in and buy the building. They gathered volunteers, gutted the building, and worked to transform the space into a community center. The only thing that still remains from the original Sassy Kats is the bar, which is no longer a hub for serving alcohol but instead a hub for serving coffee. Since the gut and remodel, the community center has become a safe space for locals in the community, a coffee shop, a laundromat, a soon-to-come co-working space, and a community gathering place. Neighborhood residents now use the space for a long list of community programs like after-school programming, community meals, neighborhood cleanups, and many more.
There is a lot being done between the walls of the community space, but the true mission of the organization goes back to those initial three words that Brandon said when he explained why he and his family moved to the neighborhood in the first place: “Be. Good. Neighbors.” Dathouse was founded in and remains a fixture in a mixed income neighborhood, with a wide range of incomes and lifestyles represented by its residents. The community members have different budgets and different needs, but Lincoln Lane Coffee Co. was transformed into a space where neighbors can come for an affordable $1 cup of coffee or a fancier latte, whatever fits their budget. Most importantly, the entire community is welcome in the space and can enjoy their experiences together. The official mission statement from Dathouse makes this point more elegantly: “At Lincoln Lane, we want to create a space for all of our neighbors, regardless of socioeconomic status, to gather and conspire together on how to improve the community - all while enjoying an amazing cup of coffee.” To bring this mission full circle, all profits from the coffee shop go back into the programs held at the community center.
We believe coffee can bring people together and cultivate community in amazing ways, and Dathouse has integrated coffee into their mission to be good neighbors in their community. Every cup is rooted in the Dathouse mission of servanthood, love, and humility, and what Lincoln Lane Coffee Co. is doing in and for their community is something we are encouraged to see.
You can find more information about Lincoln Lane and the rest of Dathouse’s community endeavors on their website: Dathouse.org