W/N W/N Is Back in Action. Here’s What You Need to Know
New owners Nikisha Bailey and Matthew Nam want the revamped all-day cafe and bar in Callowhill to be a "safe space for creatives."
Back in April, we told you that the longtime owners of W/N W/N Coffee Bar, the ahead-of-its-time cooperatively owned cafe in Callowhill, was being sold to new owners. After quietly reopening last month, W/N W/N is back with all-day hours, a new menu of locally-sourced comfort food, and a new mission.
“We wanted to make a safe space for creatives,” said co-owner Matthew Nam, noting that the vivid art on the walls by painter Gary Giordano was made in a studio just a few doors down on Spring Garden Street, while the restaurant’s plates were handmade by Connecticut-based artist Connor McGinn. “We want this place where any artist can come to branch out and network.”
While Nam’s background is in tech, co-owner Nikisha Bailey works in the music industry, collaborating with artists. “I know how important it is to have a place where you don’t always have to be on point, but feel comfortable sharing your art,” she said. The staff figures into this mission, too. In addition to regular tipped wages, Nam and Bailey are working out a profit-sharing model for employees: “We want each staffer to feel they are truly a part of W/N W/N just like we are.”
The duo, who have been best friends for 11 years, are also first-time business owners. “I’ve seen my parents struggle in a completely new place where they don’t know anyone, and I’m thinking how can I make sure that future generations of my family don’t have to go through that,” said Nam, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica. “I’ve fallen in love with the city and purchased my first home here. I wanted to build something here that really means something to me.”
In addition to its artist-centric mission, W/N W/N’s new phase includes a new menu of locally-sourced fare, with a focus on comfort food like salads and veggie-based small plates, fried chicken sandwiches, and a slate of specialty burgers. Coffee drinks are being made with beans from Counter Culture, with morning pastries supplied by South Philly’s Machine Shop Bakery.
Chef Damon Daye is sourcing pasture-raised meats from Primal Supply and breads from Philly Bread for the lunch and dinner menus. And bartender Reddy Cypress is behind the cocktail menu, which just got a nice shoutout from none other than Bon Appétit.
Looking beyond summer, Bailey and Nam want to host more evening events, like karaoke and comedy nights; they already host concerts and DJ nights, plus monthly happy hours with writing nonprofit Blue Stoop. They’ve also got plans to rework the bar a bit, adding a backsplash and making the area a little more conducive to serving both coffee drinks and beer, natural wine, and cocktails. The food menu will switch up with the seasons, with more specials on the way this fall.
W/N W/N Coffee Bar is located at 931 Spring Garden Street. Hours are Monday and Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until midnight, Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Check out the current day, dinner, and cocktail menus below (click to embiggen).