Hip, Old-School Coffee and Craft Beer at the Joe N’ Throw Co-OpJuly 31, 2015
Coffee and beer may be common ground, bringing together folks from all walks of life. Who doesn’t enjoy a steaming, cup of caffeinated goodness? And on a hot summer day, a cold draft can be pretty refreshing. At the Joe N’ Throw Co-Op in downtown Fairmont, you’ll find both, plus a killer lunch menu, a pottery studio and a hip, relaxed vibe.
Bob Layne, who co-owns the business with James Cain, likes his coffee old-school and his beer brewed in West Virginia.
The coffee is about 80 percent science and 20 percent art. Their pour over and French press deliver a quality cup every time. At 323 ½ Adams Street in Fairmont, you might walk past their tiny door. But, once you’ve had a taste of Bob’s coffee brand, Stone Tower Joe, you will be glad to take the Gateway Connector off I-79 to downtown for a sip.
Here’s Bob’s take on the pour over: “The pour over will produce a very clean, fresh tasting cup. You don’t have coffee sitting on a burner. Your water temperature is controlled ahead of time so you don’t scorch your coffee and burn out some of the flavor.”
And here’s his take on the French press: “French press is unfiltered. When you use a French press you get all the oils. A lot of the oils in a pour over get caught in the filter and particulates. A lot of times in the bottom of your cup you’ll see little grounds and an almost dark oil sitting in the bottom of your cup. It actually does bring out some different tastes.”
So where does the name Stone Tower Joe come from?
“When you’re in the woods at Coopers Rock or Yosemite National Forest or in Africa, there’s a symbol that is a guide; it is like a monument that directs you where to go. It’s a stack of stones called a cairn,” Bob says. “And the joe part is just coffee, not my name, which is a frequent mistake.”
Bob has plans to open a coffee roastery on Washington Street with business partner Rob Linger to bring Stone Tower Joe to three or four states.
But don’t forget the craft beer. There are about 50 different craft beers available every day, with a variety of Mountain State brewed drafts.
“West Virginia breweries are doing it right. We want to support them and make sure people are drinking West Virginia beer,” Bob says. Try a Bridge Brew Works Coffee Stout or the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. Mothman IPA.
Come for lunch and try a sandwich or salad or some chips and Cowboy Caviar. Word to the wise, your sandwich will have jam on it. Bob loves the combination of sweet and savory, so every sandwich features some kind of jam. Chef Mark Masters uses his creativity to combine unusual flavors, and his soup and hoagie specials are a local favorite. Check the Joe N’ Throw Facebook page for the weekly menu.
Every Friday night there is live local music from 8 to 10 p.m., a great chance to grab a friend and try some craft beer. A great time to check out the Joe N’ Throw is when Main Street Fairmont hosts First Friday across the street at Veterans Plaza. The next First Friday starts at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7.
“Probably the most rewarding part for me after being open for over a year is the friends that I have made because I opened the shop. I have grown to really love Fairmont a whole lot more because of all the people in Fairmont that I’ve gotten to meet through this,” Bob says.