All Aboard The Java Express

The Java Express serves coffee and comfort food at the Union Depot.

Since she was a young girl, Crystal Scott has been fascinated by trains. So when the opportunity presented itself for her to open a coffee shop in June in the former ticket window space at Union Depot, she was thrilled. “I love trains and I take them all the time,” she says. “When the people at Union Depot said they had been waiting for someone to open a coffee shop here, everything just came together.”

For Scott, the aptly named Java Express is the realization of a dream that began in 2009 when she operated a small coffee area in a car wash on Rice Street. “I knew I needed to learn the ins and outs of running a business,” says Scott, who went on to obtain an associate’s degree in business. She also received some start-up funds, along with business mentoring, from the Neighborhood Development Center, which offers assistance to minority business owners.

Java Express will soon move to its permanent location in suite 120 at the northwest corner of the Head House. With the larger space, Scott is expanding her menu offerings from hot and iced coffee drinks, smoothies, oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches to chicken and waffles, catfish sliders, fish and grits, and homemade sweets (think sweet potato pie and peach cobbler) baked by her mother, Christina Rosa, who also works at Java Express. “We’re bringing a little Southern flair to the Union Depot,” says Scott.

Java Express will also feature live jazz music on Thursday through Saturday nights.



The Java Express

Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

214 Fourth St. E.