Blog  /  counter culture

Building our strong coffee community!

August 07, 2014, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Theresa Szentendri in counter culture

This week our skilled baristas participated in an exciting project: They dressed in their best 1950’s inspired outfits, had their hair and makeup done, and posed for professionally shot photographs to be compiled into a 2015 calendar.

Earlier this year our coffee crew was contacted by long established local coffee company, Phoenix Coffee ( CEO and super-barista Sarah Wilson and her imaginative marketing team wanted to do a collaborative, artistic piece to not only build community between shops and baristas in Cleveland but to raise funds for the amazing Café Femenino foundation ( an organization focused on empowering women coffee growers and producers. Their vision was to create a fun and beautiful “baristas of Cleveland” calendar, with each month’s picture representing a different café. Through Clebrews ( the idea was able to come to fruition.

With as much enthusiasm as any barista is capable of, our coffee professionals emphatically joined in the fun alongside baristas from Phoenix, Pour (, Rising Star(, Erie Island ( and others. Each shop brought their own ideas and personalities to their picture, some with elaborate costumes and props and all with an awesome sense of humor. The photographs were taken at nationally recognized artist Angelo Merendino’s west side studio ( with the assistance of professional makeup and hair stylists and production managers. It was exhilarating to be involved in such an experience; not only to be on camera but to enjoy the company and community of our local café network.

After two days of in studio work followed by several weeks of editing and finalizing, the calendars will be available for sale. Look for them in the participating Cafes come October, just in time for the holidays! And what better gift than something so functional, artistic, hilarious, meta local and of course, for an incredible cause? We sure can’t wait for you to see the final product, you won’t be able to resist!

Pourover Perfection - a glimpse at our new coffee workshops!

October 16, 2013, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Emily Richardson in counter culture

Andre demonstrates proper filter folding
pre-infusion 'blooms' the ground coffee
Theresa shows us proper pouring technique
We ended the tasting with a perfect cappuccino - no hotter than 150 degrees please!
Andre demonstrates proper filter folding
Andre demonstrates proper filter folding pre-infusion 'blooms' the ground coffee Theresa shows us proper pouring technique We ended the tasting with a perfect cappuccino - no hotter than 150 degrees please!

Last night was so fun. We invited a few local bloggers that share our love of Cleveland food and fun to learn about some new features of our coffee program and preview a coffee brewing workshop that we’re putting together! Theresa led the program from behind the counter with the help of our beloved Andre (who has taken his talents to Rising Star’s location in Ohio City!), and Amanda, Crystal and Meaghan got an earful of coffee science and technique.

This all started to take shape a couple months ago when we added a pourover setup to our coffee counter. Pourover is a manual brewing process that originated in Japan and is gaining popularity in the American coffee scene. We learned that water should be 195-205 degrees, and timing is important. The pre-infusion stage in which the coffee ‘blooms’ takes 30-45 seconds, and the pourover process is about 2.5 minutes.

Amanda noted that the first cup we tasted had a smoother, rounder texture to it – more similar to the mouthfeel of tea. Theresa explained that this is a benefit of pourover coffee: a thicker filter and a more precise brewing method really feature the flavor and depth of the coffee. We all picked out notes of fruit in the cup brewed with beans from Panama, and a more robust, dark chocolate profile in the Nicaraguan cup.

The pourover process is a spectacle that seems intimidating at first, but we walked away from the demonstration feeling more confident in our knowledge of brewing and proper treatment of coffee. You’re already buying great beans that have been sourced and roasted by coffee nerds who know the science behind best practices; brewing carelessly kind of cancels out those efforts, doesn’t it? While pourover may not realistic for the everyday home coffee fix, it’s a fascinating (and inexpensive) method that you are sure to see more of in the artisan coffee world, and the principles behind it provide some insight on coffee that can improve your daily cup/carafe of brew.

Our first brewing workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 16th at 2:00pm. More details to come, but expect to learn about different methods and approaches to handling and preparing coffee, tips on selecting varieties and maximizing the inherent qualities of your preferred blend.

Thanks to our blogger friends for joining us in an early evening caffeine buzz yesterday! Within a short hour we went from eager yet slightly bewildered spectators to enthusiastic pourover pupils. It was great to share one of our niche passions with a few friends in the community, and we can’t wait to open this up to more local coffee fans.

'Adam and Eve on a raft wreck 'em!'

June 29, 2013, 12:00 AM  |  Posted by Emily Richardson in counter culture

The American diner is a multifaceted cultural icon, built on bacon and eggs, coffee and pie, conversation and comradery. Part of this ‘counter’ culture that’s particularly clever and a bit silly is diner cook lingo. I’ll preface this by saying that our culinary staff does not actually utilize this language – restaurant kitchens have their own language that’s pretty standard and utilitarian in comparison. But, it’s fun to learn some of the colorful wit that seasons diner tradition and character!

Here are some of the favorite vocabulary terms that we’ve dug up:

adam and eve on a raft: two poached eggs on toast

axle grease: butter

black cow: chocolate milkshake

bun pup: hot dog

burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it: hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion

cackle fruit: eggs

cluck and grunt: eggs and bacon

draw one in the dark: black coffee

fifty-five: glass of root beer

flop two: two fried eggs

gentleman will take a chance: hash

house boat: banana split

mouse trap: grilled cheese sandwich

on the hoof: meat cooked rare

pair of drawers: two cups of coffee

radio: tuna salad

wreck ‘em: scrambled eggs

Next time you visit, try some new vocabulary on your friends and family! …but please don’t subject our servers to it, they have a lot to keep up with between putting the float in your fifty-five and axle grease on your raft (that’s toast).

stack of coffee cups


shortrib chilaquiles

soft scrambled local farm eggs, black beans, crispy tortillas, salsa verde, pickled chiles, amish cheese, cilantro & local feta

roasted hangar steak

smash browns, brussles sprouts, sauteed onions, pastrami, parmesan aioli & classic chimichurri

romaine hearts salad

roasted beets, green beans, baby red potatoes, bleu cheese, grape tomatoes & balsamic vinaigrette. add smoked local chicken for $4

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Bar Car

The Bar Car at the Katz Club was the result of one question, what is our kind of bar? It had to be a sleek, cozy, hand crafted, Cary Grant gibson in a wifi world kind of place. A Raymond Chandler mahogany bar top mystery with ice tinking in a highball glass sort of joint. Traditional and familiar, but worlds away from anything that happened before five o'clock.

libation specialties

Hand made cocktails & Champagne

the menu

Freshly shucked oysters, world-class cheese and a selection of small plates

The best ingredients, people with a passion for cocktails and an intimate setting make the bar we have always wanted.