Filling Station Coffee Garage

First Time Fridays
with Jamie Lee in KC

On a brisk Saturday morning, I planned to meet my friend Jade for lunch during her first solo trip. She decided to start small and travel from St. Louis to Kansas City for the weekend. For someone who is venturing out on their own, she did not take baby steps but cannonballed into the waters of self-improvement and love that only comes from solo travel. 

So since she was doing something for the first time, I decided to introduce her to my weekly firsts. And we both agreed upon trying this first for us: Filling Station Coffee Garage. In the midst of a reviving Midtown,and Union Hill, you will find a small gray brick building nestled in the triangle of E 30th St, Gillham Rd, and McGee Trafficway. 

The gray building along with freshly fallen snow is a stark contrast to the inside. When you walk in, you are immediately hit with the wall of fresh brew and warmth. The feeling I have come to love as I sip my way through different coffee shops around Kansas City. You turn the corner from the doorway into the open room and the noises of a weekend morning. Warm wooden tables fill the middle and northern wall, surrounded by folks on their laptops, the chatter of  friends catching up on their busy weeks, employees serving up orders. 

I waited for Jade, someone I only knew through Instagram. I adore how we live in an age where we can make these friends online based on likemindedness. Jade and I are both plus sized women that are in our own journeys of embracing our bodies and navigating singleness. And who better to try out this new joint with. I waited with anticipation as Jade walked into the other door and immediately started waving my hands, more or less seeming like I was meeting a lifelong friend than someone new. 

We chatted for a moment, standing next to a wall of finely decorated merch, deciding what we would order. I went up and placed my order for a Messenger black drip coffee in a black mug that I had picked up from a display case and a Lox bagel. After placing our orders, we cozied into a table near the window. And as I sat there and talked with Jade about everything from body image and clothing to dating losers and traveling, I made a realization that should not have taken me that long. 
I looked at the window we were seated by and noticed it was actually a garage door. The kind at a mechanic shop that is only made of small windows and lifts all the way up. I then looked up at the interior of the building. Industrial appearing ceilings. tracks for the door to lift up, cement floors, garage doors on one side of the building. This damn thing was an actual garage. It looked like a Valvoline but gray and only one wall had bay doors. 

And then it dawned on me. It’s called the Filling Station Coffee Garage, Jamie. It is literally in the name. I imagined how nice this place must be on a spring or mild summer day. With the doors open, earbuds in, typing away as you sip on a latte, only a light breeze and sunshine to distract you. I fell in love with this imaginary setting. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know more about the origin of this establishment, however I was swept up in the high of meeting my new friend and how much we had in common. 

Our food was up and we dove in. My Lox bagel, made by Meshuggah Bagels, was served with cream cheese, filleted salmon, pickled red onions, capers, and orange slices. The bagel itself, an everything bagel, was toasted to perfection and made for a sturdy transporter of the fixins it was served with. 

I have ordered Lox at other restaurants and never received orange slices with them, so I was not sure how to use them. Do you squeeze the juice over your perfectly crafted bagel piled high? Do you put it on the bagel?! Certainly not, I thought. So like a little child playing recreational soccer on the weekend, I ate the orange slices like I was waiting on the bench at halftime. Paired with my coffee and a budding friendship, it was a Saturday well spent. 

Filling Station Coffee Garage
2980 McGee Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64108

About the Author - I have made it my goal to visit every alley, every dive bar, every hole in the wall I can find, both exploring this city and myself mainly through the art of food. And letting you know about these joints and what they have to offer. And of course taking mad pics of good ass food.
- Jamie Lee in KC <3 

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