Standard Astoria espresso store to alter palms

Might 19—From behind the counter at The Rusty Cup, Brian Medford greeted prospects and their canines by identify and juggled espresso orders. He is nonetheless engaged on figuring out what a daily will need as quickly as they stroll by way of the door.

When Medford takes over the beloved cafe on Business Road downtown, he will likely be inheriting rather more than the enterprise itself.

Kristy Cross, proprietor of the cafe and voted greatest barista by Coast Weekend’s readers 10 years in a row, stated she could not have bought the enterprise to anybody much less enthusiastic.

Medford, initially from the Appalachians in North Carolina, discovered baking professionally in Seattle. He moved to Astoria in 2019, the place he owns Idlewild Biscuits and Bakes and works at Peter Pan Market & Deli.

“I’ve a pastry background, and I had needed to have a spot right here on the town. Then the pandemic occurred, and this was at all times a spot the place I might come and get my espresso,” Medford stated. “So I simply thought, perhaps I ought to simply ask her what she’s occupied with with the store and see if she’s excited about perhaps doing one thing collectively.”

The 2 started assembly earlier this yr to debate his curiosity within the enterprise. Cross realized she’d discovered the particular person with the suitable vitality to personal and function The Rusty Cup.

“We simply began speaking and it was very pure, and I may inform that he was going to have that very same look after it that I’ve. I simply felt good about it,” Cross stated.

For the subsequent month, Medford is working on the cafe three days every week to study from Cross and get to know the enterprise extra earlier than taking on on the finish of June.

“I really feel a bit of daunted about it. I imply, it is such a hub for people they usually find it irresistible right here they usually love Kristy. It is the espresso, it is the meals. It is such a way of enjoyable right here, and everyone’s welcome,” he stated. “Kristy is aware of everybody, they usually know her, and he or she is aware of their drink, and that is what’s vital. That is why I moved to Astoria, to construct that group.”

Cross first bought The Rusty Cup in 2004, website unseen, after coming throughout a newspaper commercial.

When she lastly received the keys, she opened the door to a stunning — however surprising and overwhelming — floor-to-ceiling jungle mural that included a giraffe, elephant and leopard.

“I knew nothing. I knew how one can make espresso, however I keep in mind considering, like, ‘What the hell am I doing,'” she stated, laughing.

Now, all that continues to be of the jungle mural is a small, framed butterfly above the cafe’s little library.

Whereas Cross and Medford talked in regards to the enterprise’ transition, Jessie Weis and her grandchildren entered The Rusty Cup and a employees member started working on their orders.

Weis has been a daily since Cross’ first week on the job, 18 years in the past.

With barely a phrase of greeting, the children sat down and 9-year-old Alex Davidson dealt Cross and Medford right into a spherical of Pokémon. Medford took the shock card sport, and Alex’s on-the-fly guidelines, in stride.

Weis stated that it was Cross’ time to make an exit.

“I hate it, however I imply it has to occur. Time marches on,” Weis stated. “She’s turn out to be my greatest good friend and you do not need your greatest good friend to work herself into the bottom. I am glad (Medford’s) following, as a result of he is very easy to work with for her.”

Weis stated she is glad Medford will permit regulars like herself to maintain treating the cafe as a second house. She laughed, watching him get totally invested into the cardboard sport along with her grandkids and debate about who had the strongest Pokémon.

Medford will formally take over the enterprise on June 30. He stated he needs to maintain the cafe largely as is, together with its identify and employees.

He plans so as to add in-house baking functionality with a give attention to breakfast pies.

“I feel it is going to change a bit of bit, for my persona, nevertheless it works. What’s crucial to me is I would like individuals to really feel as snug coming in right here to me as they do with Kristy. And I do not wish to change it into one thing that it is not,” he stated.

Cross will likely be specializing in stress-free. She has some home initiatives to atone for and plans to spend time along with her mother and father in Seattle.

She is going to proceed to make appearances at The Rusty Cup, too.

“I advised him that I will are available and assist out so long as he wants,” she stated. “We simply wish to make it the smoothest transition, the place he is available in and I slowly fade out. After which come again to fill in at any time when he wants it.”

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