In late April, Roseway neighbors Mike and Caryn Nelson – with partners Toby Roberts and Carrie Lind – opened a roastery and cafe in the Lyon Court building at 2393 N.E. Fremont St. in the Alameda neighborhood. The cafe is called Guilder and the roastery inside is Junior’s Roasted Coffee. The Guilder space was previously home to Mikey Lynch’s Mars Wine Bar. The 7,500-square-foot brick building, developed by Joe and Stacey Squires in 2015, is also home to the Fremont Theater and Begin Pilates.
Drawing inspiration from Scandinavian cafe culture, the shop takes its name from the movie “Princess Bride,” where the nation of Guilder is sworn enemy to evil Prince Humperdinck and the nation of Florin.
“We renovated the space starting in mid-February and kept the layout the same with some cosmetic updates to fit our aesthetic,” said Caryn Nelson. “August West Painting and Finishing painted the space, Capital Tile and Stone did the tiling and Galloni Granite did the bar top. Our friends Bobby Birk and Brenden Butler helped with carpentry and finishes. Brenden repurposed a bar top from the previous business into a bench for lounge seating and built the front window seating and a shelf with metalwork completed by blacksmith John Fyre.”
The Nelsons started their coffee roasting business in 2014 while they were temporarily living in Tallahassee, Fla. where Mike – a veteran of Stumptown, Heart, Blue Bottle, and the American Barista and Coffee School – was enrolled in a doctorate program at Florida State University. They moved back to Portland to start Junior’s in earnest and, after finding the perfect space for a cafe, the partners set to work developing Guilder as a home base and showroom for their coffee roasting company.
In addition to the house-roasted coffee, Guilder serves tea, chai and drinking vinegar, along with a small breakfast and lunch menu featuring local, seasonal produce from nearby farms. The menu was created with help from local chef Jane Hashimawari of Ippai. Porridge is the cafe’s standout item, and both a traditional sweet version and savory version featuring oats, faro, leeks, asparagus and pesto are offered until 3:00 p.m. Pastries from Fleur de Lis, Shoofly and Dream Cakes are also available.
The Nelsons plan to secure a liquor license by the end of May and expand their food menu to accompany wine, beer and cocktails. They’d like to offer classes in coffee tasting, brewing and other topics, and the space is available to groups for parties, meetings and pop-up events.