Coffee beans and elbow grease: Blue Hat Coffee opens in downtown Farmington

What’s happening: Blue Hat Coffee is happening, that’s what’s happening. In what has to be one of downtown Farmington’s most highly anticipated openings in recent years, the coffee shop, bakery, and restaurant has officially opened after more than four years of elbow grease and big plans — plans that have now come to freshly roasted fruition.

Blue Hat Coffee is located at 23715 Farmington Rd. in downtown Farmington.What it is: Blue Hat Coffee is co-owned by the husband-and-wife team of Phillip and Cathy Jewell, a coffee shop first established in Coldwater, Michigan, in 2014. The Jewells got the keys to one of downtown Farmington’s own crown jewels, the historic Farmington Masonic Temple built in 1876, in November 2019 and work to transform the space began. Their Coldwater location closed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the Jewells focused their attention on Farmington.

What they do: Just as Phillip Jewell put in much of the hard work in renovating the nearly 150-year-old building himself, Blue Hat Coffee roasts their own coffee beans and bakes their own bread, now offering pastries, an expanded food menu, and more. A floor-to-ceiling renovation inside has been complemented with the construction of an outdoor patio, each built for gatherings large and small.

What went into it: “With historical buildings, there's always surprises,” Jewell told us in 2022. At the time, he had hoped to open that fall, but work on the building and business further delayed their opening until November 2023.

[Related: Read “Meet the entrepreneurs who are about to turn Farmington into a coffee destination” on Metromode.]

“You just kind of go through things and go, Oh, that's interesting. Oh, okay, we're gonna have to do this. We went through the standard things you expect to find in historic buildings and then had to make some changes that you didn't expect. But that's pretty normal for an old building, because in most cases, they've been changed over time, and you find things that you're not expecting. But the majority of it is just spending the time it takes to make sure the things you're doing are done properly.”

Blue Hat Coffee is located at 23715 Farmington Rd. in downtown Farmington.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.