Ironclad Coffee Roasters has been roasting specialty grade coffees in Richmond for the past couple years and partnering with local coffee shops to sell their brews. But they recently did what their followers have been longing for, which is to take their business to a whole new level by opening their very first brick and mortar café…and the locale is awesome!
They’ve renovated a 130-year old fire station in historic Shockoe Bottom that hadn’t been used since the 1950s and brought it back to life as a two-story coffee bar and café, keeping many of the original details of the building intact. The facade of the space still appears as a downtown firehouse with its rolling garage-style door (which stays open on nice days), transom windows, and old brick exterior, among other vintage details. The interior keeps the industrial feel of the original building also with its exposed brick and duct work. And the design of the space works beautifully to marry the old and the new. It’s so Richmond–taking old buildings and making them new again–so, of course, it’s fantastic!
Located on E. Grace Street, this revamped building allows fans of Ironclad’s coffee to now go straight to the source for their caffeine fix. And believe me, anyone who’s tried their blends is a fan. This isn’t Folgers, guys. Ironclad’s Founder, Ryan O’Rourke, believes in brewing specialty grade coffee that only uses the best beans with the least amount of defects, making his coffee the highest quality possible. He has high standards for the beans that are roasted under the Ironclad name, as well as a meticulous roasting process to be sure his customers get the same amazing cup of coffee each and every time. He wants his coffee to be a luxury for his patrons, but one that they have to have because it’s that good.
Something else that Ryan holds in high regard is exceptional customer service. His goal for his café is that customers see them as knowledgeable about their craft of roasting high quality coffees, but with a down-to-earth feel. You won’t find any coffee snobs here! The folks at Ironclad are nothing but friendly, fantastic people that make everyone feel welcome and are excited to share their love of great coffee with Richmond.
And believe me, if you think what you brew at home is a must have each morning, wait until you’ve tried what Ironclad has to offer. After just one cup, you’ll go away knowing that there’s a whole other world to coffee than what’s in your grocer’s aisles, and you may never go back.