Into Shelley’s Belly: Sip Stir Cafe in Uptown

Cappucino (left); benches, plants, and chairs (right) photography by Matthew Shelley
Cappucino (left); benches, plants, and chairs (right) photography by Matthew Shelley

An evil tyrant, who may or may not also be your father, just kidnapped the one woman who can save your city from a deadly alien virus. And the only person who can save her life, restore order to the metropolis, and finally conquer that overbearing, deadbeat dad is you. You’ll face an insurmountable cadre of henchman, some saber-toothed centaurs, and possibly a long-haired siren with eyes that turn your blood to ice. Well, to get you started, I suggest you stop by the new salon coffee shop, Sip Stir Cafe. It offers a cold brew that drips slowly through a tall set of beakers and glass chambers for eight hours, and then this dark liquid rests within the large container at its base. Served over ice, its refreshing smoothness lacks bitterness, while still offering much in the realm of caffeine. When I say much, I mean it’s got serious kick. But it’s not that cheap, soon-to-crash energy drink rush that leaves you depressed. You know, those times when you’re left without answers and spinning around your cubicle before that sixth meeting of the day. At any rate, now you’ll be ready to slay some bad guys and rescue the princess. Go with it.

Blueberry Muffin
Blueberry Muffin
J. Gursey coffee (left); accessory station (right)
J. Gursey coffee (left); accessory station (right)

Kimberly Trang, the owner, hostess and barista, will greet you with a disarming smile, warm you with her description of the offerings, and then you’ll do anything she says. There’s hushed dance music softly pumping from the speakers and delicate white garden chairs across from brown leather bench seats in this minimalist Beverly Hills interior. Kimberly also designed the space, inspired by L.A., and she remarks on her desire for a mix of modern and raw. There are boxed plants suspended high on the walls, muted tones throughout, white brick, and canary pastels accentuating the clean lines. The staff is excited to be there, and the energy of the place is contagious, though it may also be the trickery of that bold, chilled coffee drink I just inhaled.

Kimberly Trang (left); almond croissant (right)
almond croissant (right)
Owner Kimberly Trang (left); menus that are cute (right)
Owner Kimberly Trang (left); menus that are cute (right)

 

The space
The space

 The menu carries a long list of haute coffee drinks, many of which I’ve never heard of, but I’ve also never been to Rodeo Drive. The beans come from J. Gursey out of L.A., and Kimberly has done excellent work with transplanting a piece of that city into our little Dallas. The cappuccino was also smooth and rich, a salutation of the fine beans she’s brought in. I tried out a blueberry muffin and an almond croissant as well. They’re brought in fresh each morning, but I found them to be mostly lackluster in performance. When opened up, the muffin became the case of the missing blueberries. It had a dense white cake texture and flavor. It was also huge. The croissant was better, but still coated in a syrupy sweetener and missing the fluff.

Sip Stir Cafe is rapt with a pleasant wildness. It’s got this bright energy with nuances of sun-shined California chic. The staff is excited to be there greeting every customer with jubilant regard. The star of the shop is the cold brew. It sells out quickly, and holds you in its caffeine-thrusting bosom for hours after finishing it. It’s a great takeaway coffee for summer, and I think they’ve done fine work integrating into the neighborhood. If you fail at toppling your evil father in his plans for domination, bring him a cold brew and he might just give you one of the henchman positions that just opened up. Stay fast, stay loose, and keep your eyes on the road.

Read This Next