Harvey’s Coffee and Cocktails photo by Alexa Beattie

Harvey’s Coffee and Cocktails is opening in Midtown St. Louis on June 14

When Harvey’s Coffee and Cocktails opens at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 14, at 2706 Olive St., it will be one of the only places in town (maybe the only place) to watch what’s happening right now on a Hawaiian beach. This vast 14-foot by 8-foot live projector (which can pick up real-time activity in many spots around the world) is definitely a centerpiece, but is not the only one. Owner Kaleb Harvey explains that the gorgeously glossy 16-foot bar was fashioned from 250-year-old barn wood from the family farm in Marshall, Missouri. He and his father manually planed it and then installed it themselves, as well as other woodsy appointments in this 3,000-square foot space.

When we visited, Harvey was attending to some last-minute details: training his staff, tinkering with a state of the art Modbar espresso machine, thinking about his Syphon brewing system. The coffee program will center on beans from PT’s Roasting Co. in Topeka, Kansas. Harvey’s choice of a light and medium roast was made based on its nutty, milk-chocolatey smoothness. “It makes a really rich espresso,” he said. A friend from college with a small, woman-owned business in Texas will be making the syrups.

Where wine is concerned, Harvey said he is keen to expand people’s perception of our region’s vineyards beyond those of Hermann and Augusta, and is bringing in bottles from Baltimore Bend Vineyard in Waverly, Missouri, Fence Stile in Excelsior Springs; and Mathany Family Vineyards in Lake of the Ozarks. He will have about 10 wines from three different Missouri wineries. In the beer category, Harvey said to expect brews like Michelob, Guinness, Corona and a local IPA. A cocktail menu is being finalized.

The Lou Charcuterie, which offers custom, handcrafted charcuterie boards, will supply bento boxes of  “nibbles” for a variety of diets.

Overall, Harvey is thinking hard about ways to make this space a place where people like to be. He’s thinking about community, bringing people together; not just over coffee and cocktails, but weekly card games and a book club. And he’s acutely tuned to vibe; he wants his environment to soothe. It does. Partly that’s the live audio as well as visuals of tumbling surf; partly it’s the low light set to mimic the sun at early morning or early evening. There’s a single window at the end of the bar, but the blinds, Harvey said, will stay closed against the street so as not to disrupt the mood. “I know how to create a space,” he said.

It’s clear that Harvey – an extremely accomplished man for his 28 years – is dead set on his new venture. Having graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in economics and finance, and worked in umpteen managerial and business capacities, he is finally following some very sage advice from a particularly dependable source. “It was my grandmother who told me to chase my dream, and I’m ready to do it,” Harvey said.

Harvey’s will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.