Nestled next to Government Plaza, Monarch Espresso Bar is making a big splash in the coffee scene of Tuscaloosa. With its rustic yet modern atmosphere, Monarch has already established themselves as the new "It" place for coffee in T-town and as a definite must-visit for all you caffeine junkies out there.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with owner Audrey Vermilyea to discuss how the story behind Monarch and what the future of Monarch holds.

The Story Behind Monarch

Owners Audrey and Paul Vermilyea met and fell in love during their time as undergraduates at the University of Alabama. After graduation, Audrey and Paul moved to Nashville for work. They instantly became inspired by the culture and coffee scene of Nashville.

Finally, they realized Tuscaloosa was lacking a coffee shop that appealed to all demographics of the Tuscaloosa community such as students, professors and locals— thus the idea of Monarch Espresso Bar was born. Through campaigning, strategic advertising and fundraising, Audrey and Paul were able to make their dream a reality.

Big Things Poppin'

Monarch Espresso Bar goes further than just your typical coffee orders, pastries and latte art— they are currently in the process of getting their liquor license (yes, you heard me right)! Finally, a place that includes the two things I love most: coffee and alcohol. Soon Monarch will be the go-to place whether it be for coffee on your break or drinks after work. Honestly though, what more could you really ask for?

Because It's All About Me

The atmosphere I felt upon entering Monarch was unlike that of any other coffee place in Tuscaloosa— I'm not exaggerating, I'm being totally sincere. 

Yes, there is noise from employees making coffee and people talking, but it still felt peaceful enough for me to focus and study. On the other hand, I didn't feel uncomfortable having a conversation at a normal volume in fear of disturbing someone working beside me.

Monarch is the happy medium for both atmospheres to coexist, something that is unparalleled in the Tuscaloosa community. As a college student, I think that Monarch will be the go-to place for business meetings, coffee breaks, study dates or just grabbing a drink after work.

You'll want to try it out sooner rather than later— trust me. Plus, you can be the one to introduce the hot new place to your friends... a win-win for everyone

Don't believe me? Go check it out yourself, until then I will drink like royalty.