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York's New Grounds coffee shop doubles as venue

Up and coming artists are always thinking they just have to make it to cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, or DC, said Thaddeus Shaw. But he doesn't think it has to be that way.

"With York, I see a bevy of talent," said Shaw, coffee shop owner, music producer and R&B artist in his own right. "We can create our own gravity here."

And he's trying to do his part.

Shaw and his wife took ownership of New Grounds Roasting Company, and a music venue at the same site, The Shop at New Grounds Roasting Company, last spring. It might look like a typical cozy cafe, but don't let that fool you.

"It isn't just coffee. It's community," Shaw said.

The cafe

At the cafe portion of New Grounds, you'll regularly find music in addition to hot beverages and lunch items.

Tasty Tuesdays feature a musical artist from noon to 2 p.m., plus a special featured food item. Thirsty Thursdays also feature a musician, plus a specialty drink, in the same time frame.

Shaw said he looks for mass appeal for the artists performing in the coffee shop. Genres might include acoustic guitar, R&B, soul, gospel, or spoken word poetry.

John Beck, New Grounds' events coordinator, said Tuesday and Thursday are the shop's biggest days, and he hopes that will help grow business the rest of the week.

The Shop

The Shop at New Grounds is a "hidden jewel," Shaw said. The event hall and concert venue, with a newly redone stage, is to the rear of the coffee shop. It hosts ticketed shows and private events.

Last weekend, The Shop hosted a fashion show during the day and a comedy show at night. It's been the site for concerts, political fundraisers and an anti-violence rally.

Shaw said he can fit about 150 people seated in the venue, or more standing. He's working on a loft area he hopes to use for events as well. All of the spaces are available to rent, either on their own or together. There's a separate entrance for shows taking place when the cafe is closed.

Shaw hopes it won't be unusual to see national acts on The Shop's stage.

A December show will feature an acoustic performance with Tigers Jaw, a Scranton-based band Beck called "kind of a big deal."

"We're trying to get some bigger acts coming through," Beck said, adding that they're also trying to provide a place for local talent.

The Tigers Jaw show is presented by YCP Records, York College's student record label, part of a partnership between the college and the shop. The label also recently hosted a benefit concert there, and Shaw said the college plans to host some music industry classes at New Grounds, too.

Beck has been working to book shows there for about three years, but said that the new owners are really working to push The Shop venue. He envisions an all-ages spot that gives the younger crowd a place to go to see bands.

Shaw said that as an artist himself, he gets how hard it is. There's a plethora of talent in York, but for a long time there was no where for them to go. He wants to provide that place.

"That's why I'm pushing so hard," he said.

Upcoming shows

Nov. 19: Thirsty Thursday in the cafe with UncleBrotherCousin, noon to 2 p.m.

Nov. 24: Tasty Tuesday in the cafe with Peter Bottros, noon to 2 p.m.

Dec. 5: Tigers Jaw, featuring The Stonewall Vessels, Exit Salida, Port Ellis. Doors open at 5 p.m. $10 presale, $12 at the door, at The Shop at New Grounds Roasting Company

Online: Find more events by following The Shop at New Grounds Roasting Company on Facebook.

Where: New Grounds is at 284 W. Market St., York