Article for – Garage Coffee’s Road Rage in Nashville

Garage Coffee Company Nashville
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Garage Coffee Builds Man Cave In Nashville & Sells Cups of Road Rage

Late last January during a blizzard on a Sunday night in New York City I met Rob Camardo  during the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show while he was promoting his Garage Leathers’ saddlebags. I was talking with him about becoming a sponsor of the Smoke Out Rally, the Choppafest of the East Coast, and while I was looking at his premium-grade American-made saddlebags, a pound of his Road Rage Coffee rolled across the floor of his booth.

Garage Coffee Builds Man Cave In Nashville & Sells Cups of Road Rage
Garage Coffee is Packaged in an Ultra Cool Retro-looking Bag

His java is packaged in an ultra cool retro-looking bag that smells so good when opened that even Juan Valdez would salivate.  Since that night Rob and I have kept in touch and recently I called him and was surprised to find him in Nashville, TN working on his next venture, the Garage Coffee Company Nashville coffee shop.

So who starts a business in this economic environment?  I still haven’t figured it out but it could be a gonzo caffeinated-addled serial entrepreneur.  Rob decided to add a retail component to his business and found the perfect place in Nashville. The build-out started in the summer and completed with the first cup of Joe being poured in November.

Because his coffee, Road Rage, is a full favor roast made from a blend of premium beans, it delivers a smooth and rich cup of coffee. Garage coffee is handcrafted in small batches that guarantee freshness in the cup. The espresso drinks have been the rage at the shop selling 5 times more than standard cups of coffee.

Road Rage, is a full favor roast made from a blend of premium beans
Road Rage, is a full favor roast made from a blend of premium beans

Rob found a downtown location for his cafe in a history-rich and antiquated Marathon Motor Works automobile factory. The Marathon was an automobile manufactured from 1911 to 1914 in a block long 2 story building that was constructed in 1881.

The Garage Coffee Company Nashville shop was designed to look like a man cave that has everything you’d want in your garage, including espresso. The walls are adorned by metal signs. A cut down 32 Ford radiator shroud provides the coffee menu.

Steve McQueen playing Daily on the Silent Screen
Steve McQueen playing Daily on the Silent Screen

A digital projector is situated above the counter and projects black and white movies on the far wall. Movie selections include On Any Sunday, any Steve McQueen flick, old Winston Cup races, motorcycle races and any vintage 2 or 4 wheel shows.

Located next to the wall is a motorcycle lift that is doing double duty as a community table that has become a mid-morning perch for locals. Kitty corner to the wall is a 5 foot metal Gulf Oil sign.

Lighting is handled by a row of drop-lights over the counter. When the morning sun hits the wall it illuminates the café in a warm glow due to the rich natural wood ceilings and brick walls. Classic rock provides an audio vibe that is a contrasting note to the county music that’s played nonstop in the city.

The biker community has begun to take notice with bikes showing up on the weekends. In the store, enthusiasts can purchase coffee, t-shirts, mugs and Garage Leathers’ saddlebags.

Anyone seeking a 1997 Heritage Softail Classic?
Anyone seeking a 1997 Heritage Softail Classic?

One reason Rob really enjoys Nashville is because the riding season has been extended much longer than his New Jersey enclave. He has two sleds and one he is putting up on Craigslist to fund a purchase of an antique Garage Coffee Company pickup truck that will be used to promote the business. His bike is a 1997 Heritage Softail. It’s stock with only an upgrade of brown leather saddle and saddlebags as well as a set of ape hangers. It’s a sought after model as the ’57 Chevy powder blue over cream color scheme was only available for that year. And combined with that fact that it has only 2,700 on the odometer, it will make someone a righteous ride.

When you see pictures of the outside of the Garage Coffee Nashville coffee shop you will often see a line of people out front. It’s not because the staff is slow on espresso, it’s because of the antique store called Antique Archaeology (the business at the center of the television series American Pickers) is located right next door. Since Mike Wolf, the star of American Pickers, has signed on to be the spokesperson for Indian Motorcycles, Rob expects to see an influx of new American iron in the not-too distant future.

World Class Espresso Rocking Nashville
World Class Espresso is Rocking Downtown Nashville

One of Rob’s proudest moments at the shoppe came when he had a conversation with a commercial pilot that flies internationally and who has gotten his morning jolt of two shots of espresso from the major cities in Europe. He looked Rob in the eye and said, “You’re espresso is right up there, I like it.”

So if you are passing through Nashville, head toward downtown and just off interstate 65 at 1305 Clinton St. is a little slice of heaven called Garage Coffee Company Nashville. If you are not coming to Nashville anytime soon and want a slice of heaven by the bag, then motor over to and for 12.95 you can have a bag of beans delivered to your door.

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