Café Kubal extends coffee and community downtown
At 7 AM, the C in CNY stands for one thing: caffeine. Nothing unites the region—the stressed students, the early-rising farmers, the 24-hour party people—like the daily ritual of coffee.
To hear the author Steven Johnson tell it, coffee is responsible for the great intellectual leap forward of Enlightenment-age Europe. Closer to home, coffee is the essential fuel that moves Central New York from tough mornings through long afternoons, and into late-night conversations. In celebration of that, LivableCNY is presenting a special series on the best coffee shops and roasters in the region. This isn’t about Starbucks or Tim Hortons—it’s about the local caffeine-scene.
After a trip to Guatemala in 2004, Matt Godard was inspired to roast coffee.
Godard’s company began as so many great companies do. It started in his parents’ basement where he roasted Guatemalan coffee beans in a homemade 8 pound roaster. The first Café Kubal opened in 2007 in Eastwood where, for the first two years, Godard roasted the coffee himself.
Since then, Kubal has done nothing but grow. Four years after the first café opened, a second café opened downtown after an Armory square developer saw Café Kubal’s potential. It was only a matter of time before a Café Kubal would appear close to the University campus. That café shares space with 3fifteen, a thrift store.
Godard saw the sense of community generated by coffee in Guatemala and he has been trying to bring that sense to Syracuse ever since. He set out to make “coffee for the soul” to bring the Syracuse community together. There is little doubt that something about the café, perhaps more than soulful coffee, has brought Café Kubal to the community’s attention. With every new location, Café Kubal and its community continues to grow.
With the new location downtown near the Niagara Mohawk building, Godard has taken his idea of community development even further. With Café Kubal’s following, it could be one of the first businesses in a potential revival. Teaming with Creekwalk Commons only betters the chances of the success of an economic revival. “We desire to draw more Syracuse commerce to the area and add value to another neighborhood of Syracuse. It is one of the prime values of our business to be an instrument of change within Syracuse, and we are eager to pursue this goal specifically within Creekwalk Commons,” Godard said.
Brad Stalter, a realtor with Creekwalk Commons was excited for the opportunity for both the tenants and the building itself. “A ton of people will now have access to this coffee shop. The tenants said they love Café Kubal and are excited about this opportunity. They all want to know when it is going to open,” Stalter said.
The construction project is ongoing, but Godard and the developers aim to finish the new establishment in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.