Coffee’s on: Adelie brings back the coffeehouse experience after a year closed

by Walt Maguire
Posted 4/8/21

Will Maggs and Andres Maldonado opened Adelie Coffee at 6610 Germantown Avenue on February 15, 2020. On March 15, the pandemic lockdown forced them to shut down. They didn’t reopen until March 20, 2021.

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Coffee’s on: Adelie brings back the coffeehouse experience after a year closed

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Will Maggs and Andres Maldonado opened Adelie Coffee at 6610 Germantown Avenue on February 15, 2020. On March 15, the pandemic lockdown forced them to shut down. They didn’t reopen until March 20, 2021.

Now that the weather is warmer, Adelie is open daily 8-3, with shaded outside seating and bagels, beignets and croissants. The coffee is roasted by their longtime friend Caleb Lewis at Maiden Coffee in Asbury, New Jersey.

“We just waited,” said Maggs.

They were committed to the full coffee house experience – neighbors sitting around inside, listening to the music, the sound of the espresso machine, and generally people just hanging out – and just doing takeout wasn’t what they had in mind. Considering the logistics of opening and closing again if the restrictions relaxed for short periods, they decided to sit it out.

The coffee house’s name is explained in the logo: Adélie is a type of penguin.

“They are very social and like to play pranks on each other,” explained Maggs. “Baristas and penguins have a lot in common.”

The interior is a long, deep space, dimly lit yet bright with white tile walls and white wood trim and windows on the front and one side. The effect is a pleasant enclosed porch. It’s an inviting space, and they look forward to seeing customers back in it.

Will Maggs moved a lot as a boy. He came to Philadelphia in 2007 for college, then met Maldonado when they were working at a coffee house in Manayunk. They started looking for a location for their own shop in 2018, checking out areas as far apart as Port Richmond, South Philly, even King of Prussia, before deciding Mt. Airy. The combination of old houses, new apartments, local businesses and healthy foot traffic suggested a place they could fit in.

Mt. Airy has developed into a series of clustered businesses along Germantown Avenue. Between Phil-Ellena and Hortter. There is Zsa’s Ice Cream, Adelie Coffee House, Alena’s Café, and Five Star and Panda House for Chinese. Stand in front of any of them and you can see all of them. Mt. Airy Violins and Bows is next to Alena’s, and Mt. Airy Pediatrics just relocated to the same block. Danielle Jowdy, owner of Zsa’s, has dubbed it the “Teal District” because most storefronts on the block have the color teal somewhere in their signage or decoration. Zsa’s and Adelie even have matching outdoor tables and chairs with teal legs.

Zsa’s is also open every weekend now, their takeout window just across a narrow driveway from Adelie. Alena Café stayed open for takeout and delivery all winter, with more sidewalk dining now that it’s warm enough to sit outside. As the temperatures head into summer levels, the tables are filling on both sides of the avenue.

Adelie Coffee, 6610 Germantown Avenue and www.adelie.coffee

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