The town of Salem has been buzzing since the opening of Archive Coffee & Bar in December 2014. Co-owners Jesse Hayes and Justin Doyle’s operation is one part small-batch coffee roaster and one part classic cocktail haven. And in between all of that drinkable goodness is a locally sourced menu of small plates and entrees. We talked with Hayes, a Salem native, about his dual passion and why Salem was the sweet spot for this creative endeavor.
Why did you decide to combine coffee and cocktails in one establishment?
I love coffee and know a lot about it; Justin loves cocktails and is an amazing mixologist. Sharing what we’re interested in with others is what we’re all about, so we decided to open a shop where we could share what we loved with our community.
Why did you decide that Salem was the best locale?
Salem is a city that’s ready to grow culturally. We have the population for it, as well as the beginnings of interest in a more developed food and drink scene. Plus it’s my home. I love this city and I want to see it vibrant, fun and progressive.
What is your approach to small-batch coffee roasting?
First, buy phenomenal coffee. Second, roast light so you don’t cover up the beauty and complexity. Third, promote brightness and push for sweetness in your roast profile. This gives us the coffee we serve — lively, sweet, clean and interesting.
And how about the cocktails? What are you going for?
The history of the Golden Age of the cocktail with all the innovation of modern mixology. Our drinks are delicious, fun to drink and look so purty!
Can you talk about your Brier & Ice and the Coffee Julep?
Both are cocktail-inspired coffee drinks. The Brier & Ice is an Ethiopian Heirloom set of espresso, cream, house-batched orgeat and black walnut bitters built over crushed ice. The Coffee Julep is basically a bourbon julep with iced coffee substituted for bourbon. We serve it in a traditional metal julep cup with a metal straw.
What’s one of your signature cocktails?
The South Block Fizz is a riff on the classic Southside Fizz with some modern food science techniques applied. We infuse gin with mint, clarify lemon and lime juice, make a lemongrass reduction, add turbinado sugar and then carbonate the fizz. It’s versatile enough to enjoy neat or over ice.
What is your favorite morning drink?
My usual is a set of each of the two coffees we’re pulling as espresso and a mug of coffee.
How about in the evening?
I like to tell my bartenders, “Make me something impressive.” They always come up with something creative and delicious.
Archive Coffee & Bar is located at 102 Liberty Street NE, Suite 120, in Salem and is open 7 a.m. to midnight. Visit them at ArchiveCoffeeandBar.com.