Monday, February 4, 2008

QUICKVIEW: Updike's Newtowne- +++ / $

Open for barely two months, I finally got a chance to stop by the newest coffee shop in town. Ok, frankly, I didn't even know about the newest coffee shop in town until an hour or so ago. Updike's Newtowne takes the place of the now defunct Majik Coffee. Apparently, when the now owner (Updike?) bought the remnants, there wasn't much left. Now instead of focusing on the wholesale end of the coffee business, he's concentrating on building a following as a cafe. Good move. There's less competition on the local level with service than on the regional level with wholesale.

The inside has been completely re-done. It's very cozy and inviting. It's also one of the most open and spacious cafes I've seen and hints to the possibility of what the owner can do with the spot. Lots of wood tones and the large coffee roaster in the corner make it one of the nicest cafes to sojourn. There's not too much filling the room right now, and that adds an austere character in contrast to the busy (although still enjoyable) Caffe Bon Ami.

The cafe owner (again, Updike?) is very well versed in coffee and does all his own roasting on site. Thus, the focus of the cafe is coffee. Coffee, coffee, more coffee. Fantastic. It probably won't last long, since huge profits are to be made in the baked goods and sandwiches business, but for now, the coffee dominance lends both focus and aroma to the entire room. All in all, the interior, the design, the on-site roasting, and the enormous variety of roasts, beans, and drinks makes Updike's Newtowne a must visit for anyone in the area. It's even good enough where out-of-town people may want to make a trip for a pound of freshly roasted beans.

I recommend the Indonesian espresso roast. Excellent roast.

UPDATE 3/4/09: After a long period away, I finally found time to head back to UpTowne. Coffee is still the focus of the cafe, which after well over a year is a pleasant surprise. Only a few baked goods join the wide variety of house blends, single-origin, and estate coffees.

Mark Additon, the owner, has expanded his selection and knowledge of coffee considerably. As far as high-end coffee goes, I can't think of a single competing cafe or roaster that has the same selection. CofEx has good single-origin, but they generally use blends of beans from groups of farmers. The good selection of high-end coffee maintains UpTowne as one of Rhode Island's best cafes and garners an even stronger recommendation from me.

Updike's Newtowne: +++
Price range for two: $5-$10

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Updike's Newtowne
7726 Post Road
North Kingstown, RI. 02852

Monday through Friday 6:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 7:30am to 3:00pm


UN Roaster said...


Glad you enjoyed the coffee and thanks for the kind words. I apologize for not introducing myself while you were in the shop, my name is Mark G Additon. My wife Stephanie and I named the cafe Updike's Newtowne Coffee Roasting Company because Wickford was originally incorporated as Updike's Newtowne and... we liked the name. We know it is a long name so we call it the UN for short.

eml said...

I have to say how much I have been enjoying the coffee at the UN! What a great idea, a coffee shop that sells REAL coffee!! The owners seem friendly and excited about their shop. I drive 25min. to buy the coffee by the pound for the week. By Rhode Island standards, that is a long drive!! I would highly recommend Updike's Newtowne for a really enjoyable cup of coffee... Best of Luck... Samantha in Narragansett

Aaron MC said...

un roaster and eml,

Thank you for your comments. I'm glad that you found my words kind and I'm certainly glad another person is a dedicated fan of coffee. I look forward to the future of coffee in your establishment and coffee in the general area. I hope that UN does very well indeed.

beaniac said...

I am a frequent customer of the UN. I have tried almost everything on the menu, and everything exceeded my expectations. I am a former chain coffee shop customer, and I have to say that the family-friendly nature of the shop is unbeatable. In response to the review, I could be wrong, but I think the owners might want to keep the focus on the coffee; therefore, they do not have an abundance of pasteries, sandwiches, etc. With a product that good, I agree to keep it simple.

Anonymous said...

To All Coffee Lovers,
Updike Newtowne is fantastic. I've got Narragansett beat... I drive in from North Attleboro MA for the delicious offerings. They made up an unbelievable coffee gift basket for me filled to the brim with a sample of all their blends as well as cool coffee cups, scoops and teas. It's the best coffee I have ever had and as a mother of three, I've had a lot of coffee. Go UN!

Anonymous said...

I stop at UN all the time, the coffee and service are fantastic! We're so glad that Mark and his wife saved the coffee shop from the atomic blast leveled by the thieving Oliveri brothers! Majik was a great idea ruined by lying scumbags. Best of luck Mark, keep up the great work!