2 Friends Coffee Shop
Owners Isaac Jones and Albert White tweak hours of operation and add full-course meals to menu
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
The 2 Friends Coffee Shop in the historic NW 5th Avenue area is making a few changes to accommodate its customers.
The owners of the business, longtime friends Isaac Jones and Albert White, said they knew some things would have to be tweaked after getting a feel for what their customers wanted following the opening of the business in September 2011.
After listening to customers, Jones and White have decided that the business at 1001 NW 5th Ave. will only be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. In the past, the restaurant was open from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays.
In addition, there will be more full-course dinners on the menu and also catering and delivery services.
“We are doing full-course dinners on Thursday and Friday,” Jones said. “We have adjusted to what the customers wanted and it seemed like they wanted a place where they could get soul food dinners.”
Albert White said the business provides catering and will deliver to the Duval and Lincoln Estates neighborhoods to the east, 34th Street to the west, 39th Avenue to the north and Williston Road to the south.
The restaurant still offers breakfast, lunch and home-made desserts that are served throughout the day. However, the menu has grown to include chicken and turkey wings, ribs and smothered pork chop dinners, as well as sides of collard greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, purlough rice, potato salad and yellow rice.
“We try to emphasize baked or broiled because they're more healthier to eat,” Jones said.
The menu also consists of combos with sandwiches, chips and a drink and the dollar menu, which includes hamburgers and hot dogs.
Joel Buchanan, a longtime Gainesville resident and an expert in the area's black culture, enjoyed a bowl of chili last Friday at the restaurant. Buchanan, who grew up and now lives around the corner from the restaurant, said he really likes being able to walk to the business and get something to eat in a clean — and he emphasized “clean” — restaurant.
“I am just very grateful and pleased that it's here and it is just one block from my house,” said Buchanan, adding that he has met a lot of people since the business has been open. “It is owned by two educated and bright young men and that brings a very diverse group of people in here because they know people from their professional careers in the workplace and a lot of people from the community.”
Ester Tibbs, retired director of the Department of Children & Families in District 3, met her son, Bobby Tibbs, at the restaurant last Friday for lunch.
Tibbs said she loves being able to come on 5th Avenue and support a black-owned business. She also added that she loves the desserts prepared by Ora White, wife of Albert White.
“My favorite is the key lime cake,” said Tibbs, adding that she had just finished a smothered chicken and mustard greens lunch that was “excellent.”
Jones and White both graduated in 1962 from former all-black Lincoln High School and have been best friends since childhood. Jones retired from Santa Fe College as the director of student services and White retired from the Gainesville Regional Utilities executive team. White also served as vice president and executive director of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce from 1994-1999.
They have owned the building where the restaurant is located since 1979.
Ulysses Ellis, a retired Shands at UF employee, said he is happy the duo are committed to being a part of revitalizing the area.
“I come here as often as I possibly can and I patronize this because I want to see the dying embers rekindled,” said Ellis, adding that he was born and raised on 5th Avenue. “I remember almost every business that was on this street from when I was approximately three or four years old. This street used to be just as vibrant as any street in any city in the USA.”
For delivery and to place pick-up orders, call 352-226-8727.