Would you like to hear a funny story? A while back, I sent an email to Feargal McKinney, the owner of the Old Monk. Here’s what I wrote:
A friend of mine has an idea. Wrap your Irish brain around this.
The Monk makes you no money till 4 p.m. most days. It just sits there. The Pearl Cup right down the street is swamped every day. So: we put an analog clock outside the Monk. It has a big letter “W” in the center that rotates. At 4 o’clock, it becomes an “M.” So after 4, you’ve got the Old Monk. But before 4, you’ve got the Old Wonk. It’s a coffee/breakfast taco place with wifi.
I sent that email in April of 2010. A decade ago. On Saturday, I finally got a response from Feargal. He wrote:
Sorry I am just now getting back to you. You know how things can get stacked up in your inbox.
But in general, yeah, I like it. Thanks for the idea.
We will start serving coffee at The Monk, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. At 3 p.m., we are the same Old Monk you have known for years. I have hired Kendal Kohlman to manage the coffee day part. She is a Dallas-area native recently returned from New York, where she managed for Intelligentsia coffee group. We are aiming to be open Tuesday.
The custom clock/Old Wonk part will take longer to get to, even longer than it took me to reply to your e-mail, maybe twice as long, to be honest. So for now just Old Monk coffee.
Two things: first, the coffee itself will be a custom single-origin roast from Cultivar. Second, I can’t remember who came up with the Old Wonk coffee shop idea a decade ago. I asked a couple of my friends. None would take responsibility. So whoever deserves credit, please step up in the comments.