Jul 18, 2023 - Food and Drink

Holy Water coffee sets a quiet Salt Lake corner abuzz

The storefront for Holy Water, a gray coffee shop, with people sitting at small round tables on the sidewalk.

Patrons sip coffee outside Holy Water coffee shop in Salt Lake City. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

A new coffee shop is bringing traffic to a corner of Salt Lake that's long stayed under the retail radar despite growth in the surrounding neighborhood.

Driving the news: Holy Water opened about two weeks ago at the corner of 700 East and 100 South, next to the Wasatch Touring gear shop.

  • Owner Nick Price wanted the space to be more of a sit-down-and-hang-out companion to his Three Pines Coffee at 165 S. Main St.
  • He's also trying to demystify options for new coffee drinkers — of which Salt Lake has many — with plain English descriptions on the menu alongside the Italian and Spanish names.

What they're saying: "That's a lot of people's experience with coffee at first: They see the word 'cortado,' and they don't know what to do," Price told Axios. "We try to make that more transparent."

The big picture: The surrounding residential neighborhood — nestled between historic districts — has changed quite a bit in the past decade or so, with lots of apartment renovations and a couple of swanky new condo builds.

  • Yes, but: The small business scene has stayed remarkably constant, with the same dentists and auto shops and one or two restaurants remaining for years.
  • Even the banjo store that used to occupy Holy Water's address operated there for decades until barely a year ago — a niche mom-and-pop if ever there was one.

Erin's thought bubble: Holy Water was hopping when I visited Monday.

What to sip: The pour-over ($6) is a slow-drip cup that draws out the notes of whatever single-origin coffee beans you want to try.

  • Ask the staff what they're serving; they can point you toward a bean that matches your tastes.

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