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Popular coffee concept sets up permanent shop in Short North

Popular coffee concept sets up permanent shop in Short North

Sav McKee

When Alexis and Cole Garside took a road trip out to Washington State, they couldn’t help but notice something tucked in the giant fir trees: there seemed to be a coffee hut or trailer around every corner of their journey. These PacWest coffee huts eventually inspired the Garside’s well-known coffee trailer turned coffee shop – Park Service Coffee.

“A coffee trailer seemed like a really cool concept, and there was nothing quite like it in Columbus,” Alexis explained. “The more we talked about it, the more we realized that for as many great food trucks as we have in Columbus, there wasn’t one specifically exclusive for coffee and good espresso.”


So, they created their own. Their now retired coffee trailer was a hit – you could find Park Service in the Seventh Son parking lot most of the time, and also at prominent pop-ups and fleas throughout Columbus, where there would be a line wrapping around the city for the community to get their hands on Park Service’s single-origin cappuccinos, or their espresso sodas (espresso with a homemade, tropical & floral syrup, topped with Topo Chico). 

Photo via Park Service’s Instagram

Little did they know, their popularity as a coffee trailer would help leverage their brand, and eventually, they’d be offered a storefront opportunity in Woodhouse Vegan’s new bakery, right in the heart of The Short North.

“We didn’t see ourselves owning a coffee shop this soon in our lives. Maybe in retirement, but not so soon after opening our trailer,” said Alexis. 

Park Service would sell Woodhouse’s baked goods out of their coffee trailer, and their friendship blossomed after realizing they shared similar mindsets. Woodhouse opened their bakery space last year, and they were looking for a coffee program exactly at the same time Park Service was considering something more permanent. It was a match made in coffee shop/bakery heaven. And, it still proves to be just that. It’s a two way street, and a mutual, symbiotic relationship – “Us serving coffee out of Woodhouse’s bakery helps sell their baked goods, and their baked goods help us sell our coffee,” affirmed Cole.

Their switch from a trailer to a storefront definitely has its benefits. “We miss our trailer pop ups, but in order to build, to be better, and to grow, this permanent space allows us to make our mark,” said the Garsides. Cole mentions that the physical strain is way less now that he doesn’t have to set up a trailer daily. And more than just that, since the space is bigger, their brand can now expand. They’re able to hire and add to their growing team, increase their inventory, offer more pour over options, more retail options, more unique, single-origin espresso choices, and more fun syrups and dairy-free milks. 

Photo via Park Service Coffee

They also now have the space to experiment with quirky drinks. Yes, they still offer their famous espresso soda, but some other options include a Thai Iced Tea topped with a coconut cream foam, or their signature Lil Shakey, with shaken iced espresso mixed with earl grey syrup and orange bitters.

To no one’s surprise, Columbus has been incredibly supportive of Park Service Coffee’s transition from a trailer to a storefront. “There’s been so many times where we thought we couldn’t make it another day, but everyone shows up for us and lifts us up. We can’t quit on Columbus, because they don’t quit on us. The community that Woodhouse has cultivated, and Columbus in general, have all been very welcoming and accommodating, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” Cole full-heartedly explained.

And us? Well, we couldn’t be more grateful for a new coffee and bakery duo, where we can pair crafted coffee drinks like a brown sugar latte with a spiced coffee cake (Cole’s favorite combo), or a coconut lavender cappuccino with a blueberry lemon scone (Alexis’ preference), or even just a house blend espresso shot with a vegan shortbread slice (an underrated order, according to the Garsides).

As of now, you can snag all of the above Tuesday through Saturday from 8am-2pm at 19 W. Russell St., but they’re planning on expanding their hours to add Sundays, and to start closing at 5 starting in mid-July. They’ll also be adding something else to give you a buzz – they’re planning on building out a happy hour menu. Cheers to that.

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new June issue here!


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