Coffee shop to open in former site of Spilling the Beans

The owners of a new coffee shop in Oil City have their sights set on soon opening their business in a familiar location on the South Side.

Woods & River Coffee will occupy the West Front Street location that had housed Spilling the Beans, a popular stopping spot in Oil City that closed in June.

Owners Erin Wanninger and Marcy Hall, who both moved to Oil City in 2020, are hoping for a mid-October opening.

While the location will be the same as Spilling the Beans, the new coffee shop will be a new look with a new menu and a new focus.

“I’ve always imagined opening a coffee shop in Oil City,” said Wanninger, who originally is from Pittsburgh.

Woods & River Coffee, she said, will be a “trail-focused cafe” with short term-lodging accommodations.

Hall, who formerly lived in Erie, and Wanninger are in the process of getting all the required inspections done. Meanwhile, the coffee shop space is getting an update with new floors, ceilings and paint, as well as new signage and awnings.

“A lot of people travel the Erie to Pittsburgh trail and it is expected to be complete by 2029, which will bring even more people,” Wanninger said.

While the bike trail runs near Franklin and Titusville, she said, it also runs through Oil City, right down Seneca Street, bringing in many trail users to the downtown.

The area’s trails and outdoor recreation also are a passion of both Hall and Wanninger, who enjoy bicycling. They moved to the area partly for the trails.

The two vacant apartments above the shop will be converted into short-term lodging, Wanninger explained, and that the city code office has already approved the plan.

“There is not really any short-term lodging in Oil City now,” she said.

Woods & River Coffee will offer locally sourced coffee, tea and food, Hall and Wanninger said. The women said they plan to work with Core Goods to locally source their menu.

The cafe will feature locally roasted coffee from Iron Furnace Coffee in Franklin and Elmo Fired Beans in Clarion County, Wanninger said.

Hall noted with local sourcing for their menu, they will hopefully avoid the supply chain issues that have beset the food industry and other industries in the past year or two. They also plan on working with other small businesses in the area.

Wanninger and Hall both have experience in the food industry. The women have worked in coffee shops, restaurants and on farms since the 1990s, Wanninger said.

In 2014, Wanninger opened and was co-owner of the Saxonburg Coffee Company, a business, she said, that continues strong to this day.

Wanninger said about a month before the former Spilling the Beans location became available, she and Hall decided if the opportunity were to arise, they would look into opening a coffee shop there.

Hall said the opportunity to open their coffee shop came sooner than expected.

Next year, the women said they hope to add a patio to the side of the coffee shop with a clear view of the Allegheny River and a place for people to stow their bikes.


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