The Well Coffeehouse is located in Green Hills. It's on the street across from Trader Joe's (which we recommend if you like to be overwhelmed in a good way), in an old Burger King. However, they are moving soon. In April, they'll be in the new Seven Springs shopping center located just east of I-65 on Old Hickory. They would like to open up an additional location down the street in Green Hills to stay with the community they're in now, as well. We'll probably review those new locations sometime in the future.
The Well is actually a non-profit, missional coffeehouse. They want to make money so they can give it away. As a result you may notice significantly less snark in this post. (But don't hold us to it.) How can you be sassy about that? They partner with multiple other non-profits and sell wares from around the world to help others. They also partner with Blood:Water Mission and The Living Water, which provide--you guessed it--clean water to those without it around the world.
Featured prominently in the front of the restaurant is the "Wishing Well." Patrons are encouraged to write down their needs and pin them to the wall. Others are encouraged to look at the wall to see if there is a need they are able to meet. There is no pressure and no promises are made, but some great stories have come out of people sharing blessings through the Wishing Well.
The Well did a fantastic job of making over the building formerly known as Burger King. There are a few clues in the structure and the leftover hints of orange peaking out in places, but other than that, you'd never know it was once Home of the Whopper. They put up reclaimed barn wood over most of the walls and have two large barn doors to separate the two areas for private meetings or parties. There is a small shop on one side of the first room, selling bags and mugs, T-shirts, jewelry, etc. made by people in impoverished countries or in support of them.
This shop's style is a little more woodsy-cabin with hints of fancy industrial. In the first room (the one with the counter), there are a few small tables and a sitting area with a few armchairs and a couch made of coffee sacks. In the next room, which is surrounded by windows, there are a few large community tables, some four-tops and a few two-tops. There is also a stage, which you can sit on if no one is playing. There's a bench along one wall, too. The tables look handmade of what appears to be reclaimed wood (who really knows in this day and age, with the Pinterest and all), and a few are metal. There are a few that could possibly just be tables leftover from Burger King (vintage), and the chairs and benches are all mis-matched, many of which are recovered in burlap. There are also burlap sacks hung haphazardly-on-purpose like curtains on two of the windows.
The shop was packed when we came in, which we like to see in a non-Starbucks located in Green Hills. Most people were students, people having meetings or bands booking shows. Well, there was one band booking shows. But we were there to experience every bit of their journey.
BEARDS, ACT ONE: Four young men, making up the entirety of our disheveled hair count for this shop, sit at a large table on the stage. We assume they chose this spot because it felt like home to them. We heard them call various venues to ask if they have live music, discuss upcoming shows with one another and gush about Baja Burrito. From this we determined they were not from around here, because if you're explaining to one another why Baja Burrito is the greatest, you must be new.
E: I got the chai. It was very foamy and creamy, which in my book is a good thing. It was the best chai I've had in a long time.
Tea Taste Rating: 10.
L: I got the usual vanilla latte. It was a tiny bit sweet for me, but still delicious.
Latte Taste Rating: 8
Latte art rating: 0.0 I failed at getting a picture of it, but this is just because it was only foam in the purest sense of the word. Trust me. They also have branded sleeves, which we always appreciate in lieu of a real mug.
The Well offers many fancy types of coffee--you know, like the kind that look more like science experiments than coffee makers. Chemex, Aeropress, Hario pourover...you name it. So if you're fancypants about your coffee, they've got you covered.
The baristas at The Well are super friendly and attentive. They seem happy to be there, and they provide quick service.
The decor of the place makes it feel like home, but the menu makes it feel like the coffee shop you've come to expect from Nashville.
BEARDS, ACT TWO: A barista walks into the second room holding a coffee. "Anyone waiting on a coffee?" The beards turn around, excitedly, hopefully--perhaps it would soon be theirs if left unclaimed. Unfortunately after about fifteen seconds a guy rose to his feet. "Is that the Guatemalan?" he asked. "Yeah," said the barista. It was his. The collective sigh of disappointment from the beards was audible, and the room laughed. The barista made a Fight Club reference and the room died back down. We'd all shared a moment of camaraderie.
Level of uncomfortableness upon walking in: 2. This place is cozy, people generally keep their eyes to themselves, and the line isn't obstructing the doorway. The only reason we give it a 2 is because it was packed when we came in (late afternoon) and we had to do a little wandering to find a place to sit.
Disheveled Facial Hair Count: 5. They all knew each other.
Disheveled Regular Hair Count: 5. At least they went big or went home.
Level of pretentiousness: 4. The inclusion of fancypants coffee brew styles and reclaimed things give it a few points, but overall, the people are nice, and you won't feel out of place.
Fedora count: 0. Our theory is that winter is too cold for fedoras. Gotta go for the slouchy knit beanie this time of year.
Newsboy hat count: 1
Slouchy knit beanies: 2 (one being worn by a Coffee Shopper)
Parking: 9. At this location, parking is ample. Since it used to be a BK, there is a decent sized lot in front and around the building. Here's hoping the new location has a similar rating!
Entertainment Value: 800. Have you been reading our three-act play? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion! (Below)
BEARDS, ACT THREE: After the abandoned coffee had been long forgotten, the barista entered again. He placed a coffee on the shared table of the beards. "I could just sense the depression over not having the coffee over here, and needed to bring it over." (Or something.) The beards were overjoyed. Shouts of "Thanks, man!" and "Awesome!" erupted from the group, and one remarked "we'll pass it around" as the barista walked away. The Well won over some out-of-towners* that day, and we got to witness it all.
What do you think of The Well? Are you sad it's moving?
*We later learned, by eavesdropping on their booking calls, that they are from Salt Lake City. We refrained from asking them if they know One-F Jef or Brooks from The Bachelorette.