First Look at the New BARISTA by Billy Wilson

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We sure have known Billy Wilson for a long time… I first met Billy at his very first barista competition back in 2002 at NASCORE. Eleven years later, he’s all grown up and has made his dreams come through with the success of his business, BARISTA: three beautiful Portland, Ore., cafes, with a fourth about to open its doors.

I had the pleasure of touring Billy’s new space recently—it’s located on just about the best street for high end business in the city: Northwest 23rd. Surprisingly, this street doesn’t have very many quality coffee options, but all that’s going to change when Billy swings wide the doors at 823 NW 23rd. And when might that be, you ask? Well, Billy’s hosting his BARISTA staff and family for Thanksgiving dinner, so all will be complete by then.

When I visited, the floors had been laid and were about the be stained. The equipment install was days away. Counters were being finished, the luxurious woodwork on the walls and deep, rich leather booths were complete… he’s almost there.

So visit when you can! BARISTA 4 is the first to have a kitchen with food prepared onsite. Beer and espresso add to the menu, and service—as it is at all of Billy’s cafes—will be top-notch.

Introducing, B4…

Billy faces the long bar, which will have seating, and points out the future location of the espresso machine. What machine will he have, you ask? Try an old school La Marzocco Linea. Love it.

Billy faces the long bar, which will have seating, and points out the future location of the espresso machine. What machine will he have, you ask? Try an old school La Marzocco Linea. Love it.

Standing at the back of the cafe looking to the front: gorgeous circular booths line the left side of the cafe, with more tables and a long bench facing it. Along the right side of the cafe is the bar, with more seating, but it's designed to make to-go coffee and food easy as well.

Standing at the back of the cafe looking to the front: gorgeous circular booths line the left side of the cafe, with more tables and a long bench facing it. Along the right side of the cafe is the bar, with more seating, but it’s designed to make to-go coffee and food easy as well.

823 NW 23rd is a lovely turn-of-the-century building with old glass and inlaid wood.

823 NW 23rd is a lovely turn-of-the-century building with old glass and inlaid wood.

There are booths under there! The black leather buttoned booths will provide some damn comfy seating at B4.

There are booths under there! The black leather buttoned booths will provide some damn comfy seating at B4.

The herringbone floors were about to be stained the same color as the wood lining the bar divide and walls, when I visited.

The herringbone floors were about to be stained the same color as the wood lining the bar divide and walls, when I visited.

Hell yes.

Hell yes. Billy’s known for his selection of stellar micro roasters as well as his microbrews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.