"Should we go to that jewelry store?," Elizabeth asked after sweating it out for a couple of hours at the Nashville Tomato Arts Festival forever ago. (We're crushing it at timely posts, lately, guys.)
"Onyx?," Laura replied, as she did each time Elizabeth called it "the jewelry store."
And so we went.
Onyx is a watch repair shop/vintage clothing store/coffee shop in East Nashville. You know the type. (J/K. This is not a type. Though it probably could be, if any hipsters out there have a secret trust fund they'd like to invest.) We'd had our Coffee Shoppers eyes set on the shop ever since one of us stumbled across the sign on the way somewhere else.
There were many discussions about the store. Is it a coffee shop? We mean, it DOES have a sign. But it also has jewelry?
Our curiosity was piqued. Someone needed to see if this was actually a coffee shop. We couldn't think of any someone better for the job than us. We went so you don't have to. You're welcome.
Onyx is foremost an antique shop/vintage clothing store. There were trinkets, hats, dresses, gloves, and jewelry everywhere. It's not entirely clear what is for sale and what's not.
We were immediately greeted by the World's Friendliest Barista. She genuinely seemed thrilled to be there and thrilled we were there and thrilled to be making our drinks. She used nicknames for us the whole time: darling, honey, dear.
It should be noted that we were the only people in the store, which was enough to bring these introverts up to full awkward capacity. But we pressed on.
Though the barista (and presumably store owner) was as delightful as she could be, we should also point out that she said "expresso" instead of "espresso," and none of the colorfully adorned menu items above were available to try. Again, we pressed on.
We meandered a bit around the shop, trying to figure out what its deal was. We never really found out. We're still not entirely convinced it's not a front for some kind of mafia business with a boss who happens to have an affinity for creating unique muffin names.
Elizabeth explored the upstairs a bit (there is an upstairs) and on her way to the other room (of vintage clothing), passed a pile of money just hanging out on a counter. This only furthers the suspicion that a watch repair shop/vintage clothing store/coffee shop is a cover for something else.
I got an iced caramel latte. It was a little too sweet for my liking, but not bad.
Latte Taste Rating: 4
I got the iced chai latte. It was a concentrate, but she offered to add any milk to it—almond, soy, regular—for no extra charge. Met with this freedom of choice, I chose soy. The latte was warm, which was weird since I ordered it iced and usually the concentrate and milk are refrigerated. There was a bit of ice, but it melted immediately. It was also super sweet (probably because of the soy).
Chai Taste Rating: 3
We perused some amusing greeting cards for a while, which we enjoyed because we like words (they all contained one random sentiment and ended with "that's all").
Then we booked it the heck out of there, not because of anything the barista did, but because our awkward alarms had been sounding for a good 20 minutes and we couldn't ignore them any longer. We mean, if we had sat down at one of those tables we would basically have been sitting in this woman's living room, no music in the background, trying to judge things in whispers, take secret photos and not make eye contact with the owner. And that's no way to live. We usually do all those things anyway, but at least there are other people there and a steady soundtrack of Arcade Fire deep cuts.
Level of uncomfortableness upon walking in: 8.
Fedora count: zero.
Disheveled facial hair count: zero. There was no one else there.
Cost: Honestly we don't remember because it was so long ago and we have since blocked much of this experience out because its awkwardness affects our self-worth. Not charging for soy/almond milk is a plus, though.
Parking: 9. There were a few spots, but a few was plenty.
Manbuns: lol no.
Level of pretentiousness: 0. Expresso, y'all. Expresso.
Though our collective INFJ personalities hate to say it because this lady was so darn nice, we can't in good conscience recommend this as a quality coffee shop. To be fair, though, we didn't bring in a watch to repair, so they may be gangbusters at that.
Would you have sat in Onyx and sipped your drink? Do you think it is a front for the mafia? Let us know in the comments.