Beth and Tyler Fivecoat, Will Summey, Kindale Ball, Five and Hoek, 200 West Magnolia Avenue, Knoxville, December 2023
Just less than a year ago, Tyler and Beth Fivecoat opened Five and Hoek coffee shop at 200 West Magnolia Avenue, serving coffee and a few baked goods, but no additional food. Just this past July, Kendale Ball, chef, and owner of south Knoxville favorite Simpl, closed doors to the original location at 1120 Sevier Avenue, with plans to open along the south Knoxville waterfront. While those plans remain in process, a new winning combination has emerged as Kendale brings his skills to Five and Hoek and the two join to offer excellent coffee with a Simpl menu.
The arrangement started with a series of pop-ups in the space while Kendale (who was a regular customer at the coffee shop) waited for his new location to become available. It worked so well it made sense to expand the pop-ups to include everyday service. Kendale said, “As long as it makes sense for them and for me, why not? It’s a different audience from south Knoxville to the Old City.”
Tyler, who moved here from Illinois just over a year ago, said his relationship to Kendale’s food started on his first trip to Knoxville. “Of the two times I cried or almost cried eating something was . . . his fried chicken sandwich. I don’t know what it was . . . ” The realtor helping Beth and him find their location, recommended it as a lunch spot. The two connected when Kendale started dropping into the shop and the idea of a pop-up was born.
Kendale said, “It was just a random conversation and then next thing you know; we are setting a date and we’re going to make it happen. It happened quickly and that’s how I like business to be done.”
The businesses will be separate, with each doing what they do best. Kendale likened it to Hong’s Kitchen going into Pretentious Glass and said it just makes sense for two businesses that are compatible to share the space and the burden of rent. “Food and beverage are always going to work together . . . People will sit longer if they have food,” he added. Tyler said food was often mentioned by customers as something they would like to see happen.
Kendale said, “They already had a good thing going here . . . hopefully we will bring some of our customers in. I think we’ve noticed that at the pop-ups. He’s seeing new faces, I’m seeing new faces, so it’s good exposure for both.” Tyler added that there are faces he only sees during Kendale’s pop-ups, and he hopes to see some of them become regulars.
The menu will look familiar to breakfast and lunch fans of Simpl. They’ve tried to bring some of the most popular items over, while adding a few new twists. “Our menu is going to change a little. We’re going to find out what the guests want . . . we still plan on using a lot of locally sourced items, so that will keep our menu changing. We’re still going to have our core staples, like our BEC sandwich, the double bacon blt will stay. Huevo’s rancheros were always our number one brunch item. I don’t see that going anywhere.” He said they may play around with some dishes, like the Tostados. “We’re always going to have a vegetarian and vegan option.” The two also indicated they may do a collaborative dish involving Five and Hoek coffee.
At the original Five and Hoek location in Wheaton, Illinois, Tyler said they had expanded to food service for a bit before being curtailed by the pandemic (which happened six months after they opened). They turned to coffee-only and found it to be much more efficient for them, but some customers missed it. The current arrangement will allow he and Beth to do what they do best, while offering the customers food options.
While the Knoxville location has seating (and they’ve recently added more in anticipation of this change), many people grab their coffee and go. This location grew a great customer base quickly, but Tyler noted it had gotten an additional boost from the relocation of so many Axle Logistics workers into the neighboring building. They’ve grown from a staff of three to a staff of five. Kindale will staff the Five and Hoek location for now, along with his business partner Will Summey. Cassidy Baily, his sous chef will return in January and the three of them will rotate the two locations, as needed.
It all starts at opening today, so drop by, have a coffee, and enjoy some of Kendale’s good breakfast or lunch food. The shop is open 7:00 am to 3:00 pm every day except Saturday and Sunday (8:00 am to 3:00 pm those days). The food will be available all day.