Thou Mayest Returns, Buys Quay Coffee and Plans New Concept

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Thou Mayest is acquiring the Quay Coffee in the River Market, but plans to leave the name unchanged for now.

By Kevin Collison

Thou Mayest, the popular East Crossroads establishment that shut down in December, is returning downtown, but with a new game plan.

The coffee shop, roaster and cultivator of creative thinking is opening an outlet called “Thee Outpost” next month inside a building housing a new “creative collaboration space” called Collective Ex at 519 E. 18th St.

Thou Mayest also has acquired the Quay Coffee shops in the River Market at 412 Delaware and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Bo Nelson, “El Honcho” of Thou Mayest, said for now, Quay name will remain, although that could change over time.

“A lot of the same people going to Quay came to our spot,” he said. “It’s a comfy hangout and we want it to stay that way.”

As for Thee Outpost, Nelson said it’s a concept that he would like to replicate at other locations. The first one will occupy about 1,000 square feet in the Collective Ex project being developed by Johnny Dawbarn.

Thou Mayest plans to open an outlet called Thee Outpost in this building at 519 E. 18th St. in the East Crossroads. (Image from Google Maps)

The new space is a block east from former Thou Mayest location at 419 E. 18th. That space is now the home of a new concept by the artist and entrepreneur STRETCH called “Chances Social.”

But while the brand lives on as a coffee roaster, it won’t be attached to a retail establishment anytime soon.

Nelson said he’d eventually like to open another Thou Mayest in downtown, but has no definite schedule.

“We’re still working on a flagship store, but that may be a few years out,” Nelson said.

Bo Nelson

The Thee Outpost concept satisfies Nelson’s desire to open smaller concepts within other businesses.

Last winter, the coffee shop opened what’s called Cafe Equinox in the Family Tree Nursery in Shawnee that Nelson said has had great success.

“Thee Outpost will have the same products and services as Thou Mayest,” he said. “It will be a smaller concept we can drop in other spaces, for example we love to do the concept at the airport.

“It will be a clearly defined space within another space, but we’ll express ourselves with new design elements.”

Thee Outpost also will include a laboratory for testing beverages and will be where Thou Mayest will do its research and development.

“Thee Outpost and lab combination will be a highly creative environment that focuses on the spirit of collaboration and exploration as well as special releases and one-offs,” according to a press release from Thou Mayest.

Nelson said he was approached by the owners of Quay, Cory Stipp and Dominic Scalise, about purchasing their business.

“For us, it’s a natural fit,” he said. “I’ve been friends with the owners before we opened our (Thou Mayest) location.

“Their spot in the Nelson is such a unique experience, a cool spot in one of the best buildings in the country.

“Right now, we’ll keep it Quay and continue to carry the legacy they started.”

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