On a balmy, sun-filled day, Bluffton residents Christine McMullen and Alfred Jennings were having coffee and coffee cake at an outdoor table in front of Twenty/20Cafe at SunGate Medical Center in greater Bluffton.
McMullen said the coffee was delicious, and Jennings, who had just moved to Sun City Hilton Head the day before, enjoyed the indulgence of the homemade coffee cake.
"We've been out shopping at Publix, Walmart and Food Lion, so this is a real pleasure,'' Jennings said.
They had been served by Michael Hausman, who along with Dr. Ken Farr is a partner with Dr. Ken Farr of Palmetto Eye Specialist, opened the cafe on Sept. 23.
Never miss a local story.
"Our return business has been enormous,'' Hausman said, saying that Sun City residents had been loyal since the cafe opened.
Working with Hausman was Lauren Farr, Ken's daughter. She is a recent graduate of The College of Charleston and so far said she loves working at the cafe.
"Lauren is getting the equivalent of a master's degree in real world experience at the cafè,'' Hausman said.
Open Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and just around the corner from Sgt. William Jasper Boulevard near Sun City, Twenty/20 Cafè offers a European cafe slant on coffee, sandwiches, small plated entrees, gelato and baked goods. Craft beer on tap and artisan wine also are available.
"I was inspired by Tartine, a wonderful bakery in San Francisco, which we visited when we lived in Seattle,'' Hausman said.
Before coming to Bluffton, Hausman ran a visual merchandising firm for 30 years in Seattle with clients including Starbucks and Neiman Marcus stores.
The cafe walls are painted in bold yellow and local artists' paintings are on display. Murals evoking Diego Rivera adorn the dining area. Eat in and take out orders are available, and the cafe has an "in and out'' liquor license, meaning patrons may have their beer or wine to enjoy at the outdoor tables.
Espresso is brewed on premises. The coffee blend has been made for Twenty/20 by a Charleston coffee company.
Gelato is made on an Italian gelato machine. Baked items include seven variations on a croissant, including plain, bacon and egg, and spinach and ricotta; Danish, empanadas (savory Spanish stuffed pastry) and potato tortas (Spanish potato omelet) are available, too.
Turkey with cheddar cheese has been such a popular item on the menu that it is now the unofficial sandwich of the day. Tomato bisque and chicken with wild rice soups sell well, as does the cafe's blueberry coffee cake, Lauren Farr said.
"When people walk in the door, we want them to say, 'wow,' and feel a welcoming atmosphere,'' Lauren Farr said.
Joining Hausman and Lauren Farr is general manager and barista Cory Bennett.
Community outreach is one of the goals of the cafe, Hausman said. Eventually, the owners plan to hold monthly events featuring local artists, chefs and products indicative of the Lowcountry.
"We want regulars to feel that we know what they want, and if they are in the mood for a chat, fine, if not, they will be left alone," Hausman said. "It's a true European cafe."
On Dec. 6, the cafe will expand its menu, adding small plate entrees and specialty cheeses. It will also begin offering live music. Zack Stiltner, an acoustical guitarist who sings country and blues, will perform from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 6. A prix fixe menu will be available. New, extended hours are being decided upon, as well.
RELATED CONTENTWorkin' on the railroad: Life along the rails is a model-building work in progressSew What Stitches and Crafts Club is strong thread in communityPhotography club exhibit on display at Hilton Head library