Old Crow's Coffeehouse

STILLWATER. Tim and Michele King envisioned a bistro that paid homage to days gone by and the essence of community, so they started Old Crow's Coffeehouse: An American Cafe in the historic Andover Grist Mill area.

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By Laurie Gordon

Tim and Michele King are passionate about preserving history. Having lived in Byram and now residing in Stillwater, they wanted to open a cafe somewhere in the middle. They envisioned a bistro that paid homage to days gone by and the essence of community as well as feature a scrumptious fare. Old Crow's Coffeehouse: An American Cafe is just that place.

Located in the historic Andover Grist Mill, the newly opened cafe is rich in history.

“Being a part of the history of that storied building is an honor,” Michele said.

The building was erected in 1760 and it's fine iron, mined from the nearby Andover mine, was used for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

“The Andover Borough takes great pride in keeping their history alive,” Tim said. “The town is full of new activity and we're proud to be a part of the Borough.”

You don't find buildings like this anymore. The walls consist of two-foot stone, and the interior has huge solid oak beams filled with nostalgia.

“We've wanted to open our own food service business for a long time,” Tim said. “We've had other businesses in the past and have both worked in the food service industry at one time in our lives. We always had an idea that it was something we both wanted to do, together, as a family.”

The Kings have been Jerseyans for a while now, but they lived and wrote songs in Nashville for nearly four years.

“Both of us love Americana music and wanted that vibe to be present in our business,” Michele said. “There's a Native American parable of the old crow and young crow where the old crow tells the young crow 'You may go fast through life but slow down and see what you're missing.' Ever since meeting each other in 1999 that's been our motto. We enjoy everything.”

The cafe gets its name from that old crow fable.

“We have healthy options for everything we sell,” Tim said. “Homemade soups, organic salads, great breakfast and the best smashed burger you will ever eat. Our coffee is fair trade and organic.”

The cafe serves hot and cold coffees, espresso drinks, frozen drinks, and organic teas. Old Crow's serves breakfast all day, lunch and evening dinner and in a few months, will provide delivery to area lake communities and the borough.

The couple is a complete partnership in the business, and both work and operate the cafe together.

“We've had help from friends and family along the way including: Jeremy Autore, Michele's brother a networking engineer and owner of A Plus Data Solutions, ran all our cable and phone lines,” Tim said. “His wife Tami is a great photographer that's helped us too. Michele's brother Bob has helped out tremendously as well. But the most help has been from our oldest daughter Cadence. Without her, we couldn't have made this possible. She's been helping with our two younger children, Connor and Charley Grace. Its a real family affair.”

Being musicians and songwriters, the Kings love music and plan on opening later several nights during the month for songwriter nights and special artist performances.

“The history of the Grist Mill Playhouse will be on our walls,” Tim said. “The Playhouse was operating for over 20 years and had world-class entertainment in the Highland Region of New Jersey before anyone else.”

The Kings feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to live all over the country.

“We've seen numerous buildings torn down for newer ones,” Tim said. “Since 2013 music row in Nashville has lost 30% of its structures to 'progress.' In Missouri, 2006 we watched a Victorian Sears and Robuck kit home (one of only 13 sold in the world) demolished to be replaced by a metal retail building and just a few years ago the historic Lockwood Tavern and coach stop, in Byram, was demolished to build a chain drug store. It's our duty to keep our history in place. The Borough of Andover and property owners, Pio Costa, have shown the want to save and salvage our history. We are proud to step into our little piece of New Jersey history.”

The Kings feel that faith and determination has lead their family on this new journey and are eager to carry on the town's history in the context of this one-of-a-kind cafe.

Old Crow's Coffeehouse is located in the Grist Mill Plaza in Andover next to Hot Lock and Real Time Fitness at 5 Lenapee Road, in Andover, just off Route 206. It just opened, so come on in. The cafe will tentatively be open Monday through Friday 6 am to 6 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm. They will adjust their hours based upon their customers. You'll be able to follow all our music and writer schedules on our website oldcrowscoffeehouse.com, on Instagram and Facebook. For further information, call 973-786-0340.

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