Totally Into: Tar Pit

Because it’s been beaten to death, because it’s used for everything and tells us nothing—because a 24-hour and/or certified artisanal and/or kitschy-weird anything does not a precious blood diamond make—let’s boycott “hidden gem.”

Tar Pit

Tucked away on an otherwise gray stretch of Woodpoint Road, particularly in the thick of legitimate (see: Code Narnia) winter weather, Tar Pit is more like a cabin in the woods—think Mr. Tumnus, not Joss Whedon. Owners Lauren Kidder (a furniture fabricator) and Kerry Sano (a motorcycle mechanic) have made it so, building up most of the space from reclaimed wood and lucky estate sale finds. Boasting espresso-based drinks (Plowshares), baked goods (Ceci-Cela, Pie Corps), and tea packaged on-site, it feels like an intimate hideaway in an alternate universe where brusque baristas and laptop lurkers simply don’t exist. Since opening a few blocks away from the main Graham Avenue strip in July 2011, Tar Pit has made it clear that it is more than just another coffee shop. “We wanted to build community without being pretentious,” says Lauren, “and that kind of started when the building owner approached us and said, ‘Hey, you should paint those garage doors down the block’—so we got a bunch of people together and did.”

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