1.) The Basics: The Arlington Board of Selectmen granted co-owners Emily Shea and Mark Ostow, of Blue October LLC, an operating license for Kick Stand Cafe Monday night in a 4-0 vote (Selectman Kevin Greeley was absent from the meeting). The 50-seat, 2,800-square-foot cafe is set to take over the Jam’n Java space at 594 Mass. Ave. The location has 14 off-street parking spaces in its front lot.
2.) Timeline: The duo plans to have the cafe open by late October/early November, according to their application. They are going to close the space for a short period of time to update it, Shea said Monday.
3.) Changes: Shea and Ostow plan to reconfigure the counter area and some of the seating – there will be a bar with stools along the Swan Place window, for instance. Shea said they intend to make some cosmetic changes – any needed repairs, a deep clean and a fresh coat of paint. More bike racks will also be made available outside of the cafe and the old “Carberry’s” parking signs will be updated, she said. “Our goal is for it to be a clean, welcoming space where the community can gather, get some great coffee and great food,” according to the application.
4.) Menu: Two things of note: Kick Stand Cafe will have an expanded coffee menu compared to Jam’n Java – espresso being the main addition – and serve Vietnamese soft rolls, well known at Ostow’s Cafe Zing in Cambridge’s Porter Square. See Kick Stand Cafe’s full menu >>
5.) Who is Emily Shea?: Shea has lived in Arlington since 1994. She and her husband Joseph live on Draper Avenue near Lower Mystic Lake and have raised their three kids there. Growing up in rural Michigan, Shea worked at her mother’s restaurant through college. She is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and worked as a lawyer until 2003, when she stopped practicing to raise her kids (now 21, 17 and 15). Since 2006, she was worked as a yoga teacher at Baptiste Power Yoga in Cambridge. For the past couple years, she also has worked as a barista at Cafe Zing and helped with hiring and overall management there.
6.) Who is Mark Ostow?: Ostow, a Cambridge resident, owns Cafe Zing, which is located within Porter Square Books in Cambridge. He opened the cafe in 2006 and also owned Zing Pizza near Porter Square from 2009-2012. Ostow has four kids, ages 18-24. He works as a professional portrait photograph as well. Ostow loves playing chess, and he will make sure Kick Stand Cafe always has a board available, according to the application.
Are you looking forward to Kick Stand Cafe opening?