Downtown Lancaster becoming ‘hub’ for new ideas

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Downtown Lancaster has become quite the hub for new ideas and trendy places to visit.

One local shop launched a new treat that will have you thirsty for the entire city.

While it may be known as the Red Rose City, make no mistake: Lancaster is not just unique for it’s flowers.

“Lancaster is one of the most underrated cities around this whole area,” city resident Cody Leaman said.

From music shops to venues, to galleries and cafes, there’s a lot going on; but in a place where innovation continues to grow, new ideas are pouring into one coffee shop.

“Anyone we pitch the idea to is like, ‘where can I buy that right now?’ ” said Jess Steffy, owner of Square One Coffee.

It’s called the Velvet Hammer and it’s only at Square One Coffee.

“It’s neat, I actually dig it a lot,” Leaman said.

When describing what it’s like, Steffy said, “it’s a little more gentle on your stomach. It’s not quite as tart or fruity. It’s more chocolatey, nutty. It has those thick, rich bass notes.”

She’s talking about iced coffee. Only you can’t get this cup of joe at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s because it’s infused with nitrogen

“Once we get the coffee to where we would just drink it over ice, we’ll pour that into a keg, we’ll charge that with nitrogen, and then that will be refrigerated,” Steffy explained.

Then it’s pulled out of a tap, just like beer at a bar.

The process begins with 2.5 pounds of coffee. Then, hot and cold water is added before the mixture sets for 18 hours.

The idea started after the owner was introduced to it in big cities like Los Angeles and New York City.

Fast forward two years and many batches later, and it fits right into the heart of Lancaster.

“It blows my mind to see new stuff like this every single day. Even just coming out to the cafe just to write a few thank you notes, I get the opportunity to try stuff like this.” Leaman said.

The Velvet Hammer will be available throughout the summer, so make sure to stop by and grab a cup while it’s still cold.

If you’re curious about the name, Velvet comes from it’s texture and hammer comes from the taste and caffeine.

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