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Brickhouse Coffee Perks Up

When Jared and Lora Stayton left to be missionaries in southern Spain in 2011, they didn’t know they’d one day have a mission of their own: connecting people over coffee on Indy’s south side. More than six years (and two locations) later, the Staytons have opened a direct-trade coffeehouse and craft roastery in the longtime home of Jonathan Byrd’s, a southside legend that served its last cafeteria meal in 2014. With live local acts and communal tables for laptop work or spiritual discussions, Brickhouse Coffee Co. has the wholesome, youthful vibe of a church rec room. But roasting beans direct from farmers in Brazil and Ethiopia in a refurbished 1912 roaster gives the operation real coffee cred, and its French press, Chemex, and Kalita filter pours will impress even the most discerning. The final touch: cinnamon rolls and coffee cake from local bakeries, plus a weekend omelet bar and pulled pork and chicken salad sandwiches from Jonathan Byrd’s, which lives on as a catering business. 100 Byrd Way, Greenwood, 317-550-0034

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.