Aeronaut’s about to get a little more delicious: A pop-up cafe will officially debut at the Somerville brewery on Sundays during the month of June, with plans to expand its presence down the line. Hikōki is the work of Alexandra Whisnant of Gâté Comme des Filles and Bobby MacLean of Compliments Food Co., and it will go through a dry run this Sunday, May 14, within Aeronaut Brewing Company’s Foods Hub, according to Whisnant.
The menu features drip coffee from George Howell; oolong, green, darjeeling, and black teas; and chocolate chaud made from a dark chocolate blend from Whisnant’s Gâté Comme des Filles. There are also light snacks on the menu, including lemon poppyseed cake, a scone with butter and homemade jam, and Gâté Comme des Filles dark chocolate mousse. Carla Martin, who teaches a chocolate class at Harvard and is a tea enthusiast, helped with Hikōki’s tea selection.
Hikōki is an extension of the existing presence Whisnant and MacLean have at the brewery, as previously reported: Whisnant’s chocolate shop operates out of Aeronaut’s Foods Hub, and Compliments runs a food stand within the brewery.
The idea for Hikōki “came from the convergence of a couple of things,” Whisnant told Eater. For one thing, she’s always wanted to open a cafe with tea, pastries, and chocolates, which is in line with her background — she’s done an internship at macaron heaven Ladurée in Paris and spent two years making desserts at the acclaimed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Whisnant got to delve into her cafe dream a little bit with her pop-up at Lizzy’s (with Somerville Chocolate) this past winter. But due to the Starbucks next door, she wasn’t allowed to serve hot chocolate or other hot beverages. And at Aeronaut, the permitting allows retail sales but not serving food to eat on the premises.
Enter Compliments, which is permitted to serve food at Aeronaut, from grilled cheese to sausage and mashed potatoes and beyond. MacLean and Whisnant have been “brainstorming about opening a café together for some time,” said Whisnant, after enjoying working together on events like Somerville’s Fluff Fest, where they sold a combo of the Compliments Kerfluffle sandwich and Whisnant’s pots-de-Fluff and dark chocolate brownies with Fluff. Under Compliments’ permits, Whisnant and MacLean’s Hikōki collaboration can operate as a temporary catering service at Aeronaut.
The coffee pop-up will be open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. for its first dry run this Sunday, with more details on the June appearances — and pop-ups elsewhere — to follow.
• Aeronaut Brewing Will Soon Welcome a Pop-Up Cafe [EBOS]
• Spoil Yourself With Gâté Comme Des Filles Chocolate [EBOS]
• Hikōki [Official Site]