Congratulations are in order for Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin, founders of PT’s Coffee in Kansas. The duo opens Flying Monkey Handcrafted Brews in Topeka today.
The location—at 1500 SW 17th St., just steps away from Washburn University and the inevitable crowd of college coffee and beer lovers—couldn’t be more perfect. I’ve known Jeff for years and years, and in the time I’ve spent with him, he’s impressed me with his passion for both coffee and beer, and his knack for understanding his company’s core audience.
As for the name, Flying Monkey was taken from PT’s espresso blend of the same name. PT’s is a household name in the area, and while the company will continue to lavish love and attention of the cafe it opened in 1993 in Barrington Village, Jeff and Fred wanted to give the new space—and its new menu—a personality all its own.
“If we were opening another PT’s, people would probably anticipate a lot of the same things we’ve already done in the past,” director of retail Holly Bastin told Topeka’s Food and Flicks in a recent article, of the choice of names. “We want people to have a fresh perspective on what we do.”
Flying Monkey—which puts equal emphasis on the high quality of coffee and beer served—boasts a minimalistic design with natural touches such as a bench made from a fallen tree, and a table made from part of an old bowling alley floor. There’s an outdoor patio, too, with a view to the nearby Washburn campus.
“We’re going to be a lot different than anything Topeka’s ever really seen,” Holly continued in the Food and Flicks article. “Just our ethos of brewing by the cup and showcasing the coffees a little more prevalently. We will have flavors, but it will be like four or five at a time. It will be thoughtful. We will be intentional in how we present coffee.”
Beer served will be provided by Topeka’s Blind Tiger Brewery, and the food menu items consist of sandwiches, soups, salads, quiche, and baked goods, all created and presented with an eye toward local producers.
And of course, since this is the restaurant of a well traveled green coffee bar, Jeff’s favorite rum, Ron Zacapa from Guatemala, will be available at the Flying Monkey.
Cheers to Jeff, Fred, Holly, and the hardworking crew at PT’s Coffee!