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Greenville’s 101 Espresso Bar offers specialty coffees, unique atmosphere

101 Espresso Bar in Greenville South Carolina, Febuary 13th, 2020

101 Espresso Bar is a tiny coffee and pastry shop that sits in a tall, skinny, gray brick building.

The shop lures in many local customers and has even seen a barista from Hawaii come all the way to Greenville for the sole purpose of visiting 101.

The company was founded in May 2017 by a Greek couple after an unsuccessful attempt at real estate and was sold to Brian Pickenpack and Jonathan Ksor in September 2018. 

Pickenpack said the overall vision of the company is to provide customers with delicious “dessert coffee” and gourmet pastries in a comfortable atmosphere. “We’re trying to create a mom-and-pop atmosphere,” Pickenpack said.

101 brews Panamanian and Guatemalan coffee and uses both light and dark roasts. The current favorite menu item is any beverage with vanilla flavoring. 

Pickenpack said customers like it because it provides a soothing taste but can also be combined with more sugary flavoring to spice it up a bit. As far as food and pastries are concerned, Pickenpack uses mixes for a few of the items but has come up with the recipe for his signature dessert, the oatmeal supreme cookie, himself. 

101 also serves bagels and a couple savory menu items, including chicken salad and a Greek savory pastry called spanakopita, which was inspired by the original owners.

As the seasons change throughout the year, Pickenpack adjusts the menu. In winter months, customers can expect a variety of breads, while in summer months, they can choose from various cupcake flavors. 

Beverages fluctuate with seasons as well, giving customers unique flavor options including Nutella, York Peppermint Patty and vanilla with horchata. 

“101 is like home away from home, [and] the building is the trademark,” Pickenpack said. 

The building, which was originally constructed as a liquor store, has two stories and a crane on the ceiling of the top story that was once used to lift down liquor cases. 

Customers can make their way to the second story of the building by a spiral staircase; from there, they can get a nice view of the outskirts of downtown Greenville. Art from local artists hangs on the walls and plants and other greenery add ambiance to the space. 

101 Espresso Bar is located at 101 Wade Hampton Blvd. in Greenville and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.