In 2017, brothers Adam and Caleb Whittmer opened their first Splitlog Coffee Co. shop on Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, Kansas, simply because they could not find a locally-owned coffee shop in their neighborhood.
It was this same need that drove the brothers to procure a building in the Pendleton Heights neighborhood, where they opened their second Splitlog location in December. The new shop is located on Olive Avenue, just north of the new Pendleton ArtsBlock building.
“There are so many excellent coffee shops in Kansas City, and although most tend to be located closer to the core of downtown Kansas City, our thing has always been about going where the need is, and we thought the history of Pendleton Heights made it the right next spot for us,” general manager Simeon Brinker says.
The shop serves locally roasted Messenger Coffee Co. coffee and espresso drinks, along with pour overs and toddy coffee.
The new location is different than the original in several ways. Most notable, the brothers decided to add a commercial kitchen at the Pendleton Heights shop in order to offer hot breakfast and lunch items in addition to the fine selection of protein bars, Hana’s Donuts and SunFlour bakery pastries currently available at both locations.
“When we opened our first location, we were focused on making the Strawberry Hill space functional and getting the doors open quickly. With our second Pendleton Heights location, we knew we were going to have to gut the space and we were faced with the decision of what we really wanted Spitlog Coffee Co. to be,” Brinker says. “We had to think about what kind of things our guests wanted from us and how we would deliver them. It was a whole new way of thinking about our business, because we needed to build a space to support where we wanted to be, not where we currently are.”
The new-from scratch food menu is currently being tested at the Pendleton Heights location. Offerings will include a hot breakfast sandwich stuffed with eggs, bacon or ham; a smoked salmon and bagel plate featuring Meshuggah Bagels with a smear of cream cheese and thinly sliced smoked salmon; and avocado toast with pickled red onions and preserved lemon. At lunch, they plan to keep it fresh, seasonal and straight-forward, serving deli sandwiches, seasonal soups (like spiced carrot), hearty grain bowls and salads.
The plan is to roll out the new menu at Pendleton Heights first, and eventually at Strawberry Hill once they do a little remodeling to the space. “We have made plans this year to add on to our Strawberry Hill location to include a commercial kitchen so we can do the same menu items there that we do here in the historic Northeast,” explains Brinker. “We will also be adding a rooftop deck for our guests to sit on top of our Strawberry Hill location and enjoy the view of downtown Kansas City.”
After that, the partners plan to set up their own coffee roasting facility in a building near their Strawberry Hill location. They will start roasting and selling their own beans at both locations sometime before the end of this year. Splitlog Coffee Co. currently uses Oddly Correct coffee beans, so the partners turned to owner Greg Kolsto, who also happens to be an artist, for an original piece of art for their new Pendleton Heights store.
“We asked him to do a piece for us, whatever he wanted, and we love that it is a thought-provoking piece,” says Brinker.
The décor inside the new Splitlog Coffee Co. is very zen with clean white subway tile, light wood, black accents and green plants. Kolsto created a colorful and curious painting of a bear wearing a party hat on a seesaw with a crying child that had both a personal and professional message for he and the Whittmers.
Guests can ponder the meaning of Kolsto’s painting and draw their own conclusions over a terrific cup of coffee at this new Pendelton Heights coffee shop.
Splitlog Coffee Co., 546 Olive St., Pendleton Heights, Kansas City, Missouri, 913.549.4904, splitlog.coffee/pendleton-heights