Ready to taste design and coffee together in a small and modern space?
Welcome to NEVER Coffee Lab, a coffee shop in Portland as small and quaint as it is modern and absolutely brilliant. The design of this coffee shop doesn’t follow the white and minimalist modern look that all coffee shops seek, but instead it fills you with an energy that can only be compared to the coffee they sell. Come with us to take a look at this wonderful coffee shop with a modern design!
Portland native Zak Davis decided to open his cafe, NEVER Coffee Lab, in a special neighborhood, a place close to this heart. When the decision came and the place was picked, the energy of the community prompted him to think outside the box and make some decisions about what he wanted the concept to be. He worked with art director and fine artist Sarah Simmons and designer Grace Potts to create the coffee shop, crafting a bright, five-color-palette coffee shop that took a turn away from the white-box, minimal cafes.
“We took a lot of design risks. There was no case study for it. We wanted a really bright, colorful atmosphere that instantly showed that we were thinking a bit [differently] but also payed homage to our favorite third-wave cafe elements. Sarah and Grace had to balance our love of minimal, clean design with a totally wild color aesthetic throughout every part of the design. The result was perfect but we had to learn to listen to our gut and enjoy the risk taking. NEVER has a distinct design language and it really stemmed from following our instincts,” Zak says.
Zark believes that when starting to design a cafe, it should be an expression of your values, of your view of life. Trying something different is far more rewarding than getting inspired by other coffee shop designs anywhere else, he advises.
Zak says, “You can see the clean marble line of the counter as the perimeter to a skim coating of concrete as the face of the bar. We didn’t know if this would work. It did. The smoothness of marble and the roughness of concrete is perfection.”
The coffee shop also displays local art each month, with incredible art work making you company as you take your coffee on the sitting area. It’s one of Zark’s favorite things, and we know it will surely be yours too!
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