Five years ago, a little known coffee shop by the name of Method Coffee Bar opened at 1593 N. Decatur Rd. The goal was to show Atlanta that brew-to-order coffee through a Chemex, using responsible/sustainable coffees, using no artificial syrups or sugars could, in fact, be fast and friendly. It did well. It even got a little national recognition for its efforts. This is also where Jordan, Jamie and Dale (now owners of Steady Hand) met, as well as the two baristas who help man the counter, Thomas and Frank. The place did good business, made great friends, and showed what caring about the community and neighborhood as much as the coffee we served could do.
The owner of that shop was not dedicated and ran out on Method without warning, but Jordan and Dale stayed. They ran the business on their own, working for tips and using what was in the register at the end of the day to order coffee and buy milk. They worked until the power was turned off. Between the power being shut off and Octane Coffee taking over the space, they got to know Andy of Everybody’s Pizza really well. He’d buy them beer and pizza to help lift their spirits and, well, fill their stomachs. At one point, those two even rebuilt the wood benches that sit outside of Everybody’s for a little extra cash. Then the space was Octane and things were good. “The Boys”, as they became known, were there for 12 of the 15 months Octane was open. But they still had a need to get more creative with their craft, so they packed it up and traveled to Australia to learn how to roast coffee.
Once they got back, they wanted to do things their way in the hood they had served for three years. Jordan, Jamie and Dale formed a coffee company and a coffee van – a 1982 VW bus outfitted with an espresso machine, grinder, fridge, steel tables, and a whole lot of dreams; it became the Rattletrap.
As the Rattletrap became operational, Octane was ready to return 1593 N. Decatur Rd to us. We wanted it; we wanted our customers, our friends, and our neighborhood back. We put everything we had into it. We put the Rattletrap in the parking lot to show the community we were coming back and served the best coffee ever to come out of a van—promise. The shop got a face-lift, and Andy even helped us through our changes. Steady Hand Pour House was to be a statement of our dedication to our craft and the people who supported it. Steady- to assure we would never leave; Hand- to indicate our hand-crafted drinks; Pour- to let you know specialize in coffee and the art of pouring; and House- because it’s home for us and our customers.
In year one we managed doubled the sales of the previous shops in the location, we gained many new customers/friends, came to be known as one of the best coffee shops in the South, and we even got Andy to drink cappuccinos. But most of all we finally had turned the space into a community. We didn’t have a one-year celebration, because we only wanted to celebrate after being here longer than any other shop. When our lease was up, we started the back-and-forth of negotiating a new one. We paid what Andy wanted until we could come to an agreement. After some building issues, we just shook on it. We were closer than most landlords and tenants, and we trusted him. From a business standpoint, maybe we should have done things differently, but that’s just the kind of guys we are.
In the last 6 months, Steady Hand Pour House has had a two-year anniversary celebration that will never be forgotten, grown business to a point where we were going to have to hire a third full-time employee, and ventured into roasting our own coffee. Steady Hand Pour House has brought to Emory Village a stand-out, steadfast small business in a sea of bigger commercial options. We took on two Starbucks that can be seen from our patio, just like Slice and Pint (the incoming tenant) will take on two fast delivery pizza joints. We ask that no one doubt Steady Hand Pour House loved its community and the people within it. No one asked if we wanted to stay, and we are allowed to pissed about it. We wish Slice and Pint luck, and hope Andy enjoys retirement. The owner of 1593 should know that he can ask us to stay, WE’D LOVE THAT; you too can let him know. Most of all, I hope that everyone knows we’re not done. We’re actively seeking a new location. We are not closing, ’cause we don’t do that.#SHPH4LIFE
—Jordan & Dale & JamieWE ARE HERE
Steady Hand Pour House
1593 North Decatur Road — ATL 30307