July 25 was Omar Hamid’s eighth day on the job as a barista.
Armed with no previous coffeehouse experience other than training from Tampa’s Buddy Brew Coffee crew, who taught him how to execute a fine cup of joe, Hamid — whose enthusiasm for coffee started at home — opened Dunedin’s 9th Bar Espresso about two weeks ago for what he calls “selfish reasons.”
“It’s really not about anything else. I just wanted a good coffee shop around,” he said.
Hamid, who’s owned businesses in the city for five or six years, subleases his craft coffee bar at 929 Broadway from the Dunedin House of Beer, which operates the building as Wine & Brew on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays after 6 p.m.
Serving its coffee within 14 days of each roast, 9th Bar gets its beans, such as the Double Dog Espresso, from Buddy Brew. The local roaster created the shop’s signature 9th Bar Blend, too.
Artisanal coffees are 9th Bar’s main focus, Hamid said.
He and his brother Ahmed Hamid, who was a head chef at Bern’s and worked for Mise en Place, are putting together beverages like the World’s Most Expensive Cappuccino and The Crackuccino, which will pay tribute to the chocolate peanut butter Crack Pie that New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar is known for.
The sibling duo also crafts another breakfast staple in inventive ways: cereal.