Coffee, brews, and … breakfast tacos? That’s the combination that Lamplighter Brewing Co. can now offer its customers, thanks to the opening of its new daytime cafe, Pepita Coffee.
Pepita is the successor of Longfellows, which closed its doors at the beginning of June after its owner moved to New Jersey. Lamplighter runs Pepita, and transitioned the Longfellows team to the new project.
The staple of Pepita’s menu is the breakfast taco. The future founders of Lamplighter dreamed up the brewery while visiting a beer bar in Austin, Texas, and when it came time to develop a cafe concept they returned to those roots, according to Lamplighter Owner Cayla Marvil and Director of Operations Jack Hunsicker.
“We took a field trip down to Austin and tried a bunch of breakfast tacos,” says Hunsicker, who also acts as the general manager for Pepita. “We tried to go to the source and make them as authentic as possible, with our own little spin.”
Pepita offers four varieties of tacos, made in-house: bean and bacon, chorizo and egg, carnitas and egg, and elote and potato. A weekly taco special will launch soon. “They’re all Cambridge twists on what we tried in Austin,” Marvil says.
Also on the menu is avocado tostada. No coffee shop is complete without avocado toast, but this version sticks to the Mexican-inspired theme while paying tribute to the breakfast staple.
The shop’s baked goods also demonstrate Austin and Cambridge influences with treats like green chile cornbread and dark chocolate chile cookies. As for the drink menu, it’s similar to the Longfellows coffee menu with some additions, including coquito slushie and sparkling limeade.
Lamplighter’s management of the coffee spot allows for increased collaboration and fluidity between coffeemasters and brewmasters.
“Coincidentally, several of our bartenders have a lot of coffee shop knowledge and experience, so it’s been fun to get them on the coffee shop side of things, too, and it’s been a great opportunity to teach our taproom staff about coffee,” Hunsicker says.
Marvil and Hunsicker say they hope to preserve the community and atmosphere created by Longfellows while developing Pepita.
“We’ve tried to keep the atmosphere very similar. We understand that a lot of our customer base has gotten very used to the taproom vibe, especially with Longfellows and that commitment to community, so we’ve tried to keep that very similar,” Hunsicker says.