SoBro-based The Johnny Cash Museum is slated to open a small Bongo Java coffee shop space by the end of the month.
Bob Bernstein, Bongo Java Roasting Co. founder, told the Post the space will be larger than a kiosk but not as large as a full-sized café.
“This is licensed deal and we will not own the business,” Bernstein said. “It’s similar to our Omni deal. [Musuem officials are making it] to our standards and they will operate. We will get a percentage of revenue and they will buy product from us."
Bernstein said the space will feature a handful of tables and chairs and offer a storefront presence addressing Third Avenue South. He praised museum founder Bill Miller for his work on the cultural attraction.
“It’s exciting to be part of the museum,” Bernstein said. “It’s a very inviting space and a nice tribute to Johnny Cash. It’s cool to be part of the musical heritage of this town.”
From a release:
The “#1 Must Visit Museum for Music Lovers” by Conde Nast’s Traveler, The Johnny Cash Museum teams with Nashville’s oldest and most-honored coffee company Bongo Java to perk up downtown Nashville with the addition of a coffee shop to the museum. Located within The Johnny Cash Museum at 119 Third Avenue South, Bongo Java opening in late February will offer a variety of Bongo Java’s most sought after brews alongside a selection of pastries and gourmet cafe fare.
“My family is thrilled to operate our own Bongo Java at The Johnny Cash Museum,” says The Johnny Cash Museum Founder Bill Miller. “We are all coffee aficionados and we are picky about what we drink. After an exhaustive search, we knew that Bongo would be the perfect choice for us. Bongo Java Founder Bob Bernstein has built a top notch, first class operation which produces an amazing product. We are also very pleased to offer coffee and coffee drinks which are both organic and fair trade. I am confident that the hundreds of thousands of Cash fans from around the world who visit us annually will be as excited about this great coffee as we are.”
As Nashville’s only certified organic coffee company, 100% of Bongo Java coffee is organic and bought directly from small-scale producers. The Bongo World company not only includes its anchor establishment Bongo Java, but also Bongo East, Bongo Java Roasting Co, Fido, Hot & Cold, Grins Vegetarian Restaurant and Fenwick’s 300.
“Bongo Java is excited to be part of this museum that celebrates part of Nashville's musical culture,” says Bongo Java Founder Bob Bernstein. “Over the past 22 years, we have worked to be part of this community by supporting all sorts of non-profit groups and through opening stores in up-and-coming neighborhoods. We now feel fortunate to be part of this new museum that is part of Nashville's growing downtown. And we of course are honored to be part of this tribute to Johnny Cash.”
(Bob Bernstein and Bill Miller)
The long-awaited Johnny Cash Museum Store is slated to open within two weeks, according to museum founder Bill Miller.
The 850-square-foot retail space will anchor The Johnny Cash Museum, which is still several months from being unveiled, Miller said. Both the store and the museum are located in a vintage building on Third Avenue South about one-half block south of Broadway.
Miller (pictured) said the museum store will feature various memorabilia dedicated to Cash and his career. For example, the retail shop will offer autographed vinyl albums, photographs and books. T-shirts will also figure prominently.
“We are taking a curatorial approach,” Miller said of the retail shop, adding that he and his team have assessed retail spaces at high-end museums devoted to, for example, presidential libraries.
Miller, who is based in California and is known to have one of the world’s largest collections of Cash memorabilia (he operates johnnycashstore.com), said he wanted to open the retail space first, as it will serve as a “beachhead” of sorts. Currently, large-scale museum pieces are being built off-site.
The effort has not come without challenges, as both the SoBro-based retail store and museum will open later than Miller would have preferred.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” he said.
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