DALLAS — Pressed Coffee Roasters was created as a central gathering hub in downtown Dallas to enjoy a refreshing drink with friends while within a venue that offered a variety of live music and events.
However, when public gathering places were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Pressed Coffee lost the core to its business model.
As a result, current owners Kirk and Teasa Bathke announced Dec. 19 the shop is closing its doors Dec. 31.
Pressed Coffee was renowned for live music on Friday nights, open mic on Tuesday nights and a banquet room which the Bathkes, who are also pastors, also used to host members of their congregation on Wednesday nights.
Ever since the shutdown, Teasa said they’ve been unable to do any of that.
“I don’t know if you’d say this is a restaurant. It’s a gathering place. When you can’t gather, it’s empty,” Teasa explained.
“When you have a banquet room and there’s no banquets, you have an empty banquet room,” added Kirk, her husband of 22 years. “When you have a gathering place that goes away, it becomes a little rough.”
The Bathke’s purchased the business from Douglas Graven in March 2019 after he split with co-owner Rachel Phelps. The partnership allowed them to run the business while Graven maintained ownership of the building.
“When we first took this on, it wasn’t doing great. And we knew that,” Teasa said. “We were building it. Right before the shutdown, we were really starting to see an increase here. It was doing really well. We were actually willing to take A paycheck, which was awesome.”
When the shutdown was first announced in March 2019, they had to immediately cancel 12 banquets scheduled throughout the year and they have not rescheduled any since. The Bathke’s saw their revenue decline to 30%. Teasa said their revenue was back up around 70 percent when Gov. Kate Brown announced another two-weeks of shutdowns Nov. 18. She said their sales again dropped to 30 percent, a decline from which they were unable to recover.
“We’ve been partnering with Doug,” Teasa saia. “He’s been super gracious, super awesome with us, to the point of even throwing his own money into this. He has a mortgage. At the moment, we’re tapped out. He’s tapped out.”
“It’s just time to sell it away. Rents and mortgages don’t magically go away,” Kirk added.
They wanted to make it clear, they’re not getting kicked out.
“We’ve gotten notes, ‘I can’t believe the owner is kicking you guys out this time.’ They just don’t understand. He’s got the same bills, just all of them bigger than ours,” Teasa said.
She added the concern over the situation is understandable, as the Bathkes are on a first name basis with most of their long-time customers.
“We usually know the drinks they’re going to have before they come through the door. They’re not taking it real well,” Kirk said.
“This is my family,” Teasa added, wiping away sudden tears. “This has been a rough week.”
They said Graven is allowing them to use the banquet room to keep their ministry alive until the building sells.
In the meantime, their daughter Lillian Morris has set up a GoFundMe account to cover the costs of shutting down the business and other expenses.
“She was dreaming high with the Lord, setting a goal of $100,000. The money given will pay for overwhelming closing costs, taxes and being able to bless Pressed employees that have lost their jobs,” Teasa said. “We want to compensate our employees. They’ve actually been volunteering since the second shutdown. And maybe bless them a little bit, because they’re going to be looking for jobs now.”
The Bathkes hope to have another place of their own again some day, administering coffee and faith.
“We want to have a place again, in the Dallas area if not downtown, another place like this,” Teasa said. “It may be starting small, a coffee booth, cart or something, and growing from there. We got a taste of it, we love the community. We love interacting with them every day. It all depends on financial compensation from the government. Right now, we’re not in a financial place to open anything. The Lord gave us this place really easily, he can do it again.”
Kirk added it was really important to his heart for people to know what they did there and why they do what they also do as pastors.
“That’s the thing that’s going to carry through us to what else we do. I want this town to encounter the love of God, outside a church. That people get healing in their body,” Kirk said. “I’ve seen so many needs healed, that kind of thing no strings attached love of God carried through.”
The Bathke’s said to keep an eye on their Facebook page for developments into the process as they dissolve the business and its inventory. To make a contribution to their GoFundMe account, go to https://gofund.me/d794710a.