Brendan Walton, who opened the popular downtown café and bar A. J. Rocco’s
back in 2001, currently is rehabbing an old building at W. 58th and Lorain to house a new coffee shop. Walton, a resident of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, has owned the building since 2009. He fought to save it from demolition and is now in full rehab mode in hopes of opening the doors in late spring.
“It’s full speed ahead,” says Walton, adding that he recently installed 11 new windows and will soon finish the Dutch lap wood siding exterior. “It’s totally gutted inside. It’s going to look really nice when it’s done.”
In addition to A. J. Rocco’s, Walton operates the Cleveland Coffee Company
, a small-batch roastery located in Midtown with accounts in 40 stores, including Heinen's, Zagara's and Market District. The new cafe will take the same name.
“I was going to move the roasting operation there, but now it’s going to be a café,” he says. “This is the direction we want to take the business. We’ll get into pour-overs and French presses, which are difficult to do down at A. J. Rocco’s. I commend the Pours and Rising Stars of the world.”
Walton is particularly excited about a new partnership with Cavs star Matthew Dellavedova to produce G'Day Mate Blend, which will be released on January 26, also known as Australia Day back home.
“I got the idea when I heard the guy pounds coffee before and during games,” Walton says.