Fika and Sawdust Road owners opening new coffee collab in former Grill at Great Bridge

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Kathleen McReynolds (left) and Eddie Compo (right) plan to open “Battle Grounds” at the former location of The Grill at Great Bridge this fall. Credit: Fika Coffee Bar

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Kathleen McReynolds and Eddie Compo will probably tell you that coffee has the power to breathe new life into things.

That little bean is exactly what brought the two business owners in Virginia Beach together to revive the former location of The Grill at Great Bridge in Chesapeake.

The Great Bridge staple closed its doors in December after 25 years in business, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

McReynolds, a Great Bridge native, says when they saw the building on Battlefield Boulevard was for lease, they knew they had to have it.

What will soon be Battle Grounds Coffeehouse and Grill is slated to open this fall, after a few renovations.

Both McReynolds and Compo are no strangers to fixer-uppers.

In 2017, McReynolds took an old camper and turned it into Fika Coffee Bar — a food truck-style coffee shop that she brought to countless festivals, events and pop-ups across the region.

The original Fika Coffee Bar camper was destroyed in an accident in November of 2018. Credit: Fika Coffee Bar, Facebook

The name “Fika” is a term used in Swedish culture to describe a coffee break or coffee meet-up. In her blog, McReynolds says she came across the term when doing research about her heritage and felt it was a perfect fit.

Compo has owned Sawdust Road for a little over year now — an old home turned coffee shop in the heart of Pungo with tons of character.

McReynolds says she and Compo quickly became friends in the midst of her regular visits to his shop, and, since he had already thought about putting his coffee on wheels, the two formed a partnership.

The excitement and prospect of new business came at a time when McReynolds needed it most.

Back in November, McReynolds was leaving one of her coffee bar’s regular spots when she got into an accident.

No one was injured in the accident, according to McReynolds, but her coffee bar was completely destroyed.

She didn’t let that slow her down. Days later, McReynolds wrote in her blog, she came across a truck in Philadelphia for sale and brought it back to Virginia Beach.

After months of work, Fika Coffee Bar was up and running again with Sawdust Road alongside.

McReynolds and Compo decided to seal their mobile coffee bar partnership with brick-and-mortar when they signed the lease for the building in Chesapeake.

She would often stop at The Grill with her mother on the way to school growing up and knows how special the spot is to the Great Bridge community.

McReynolds says they love the style and size of the building, with all of its character, and plan to preserve it as much as possible.

Their plan is to bring handcrafted, locally-roasted coffee and espresso to the Great Bridge community along with options for breakfast and lunch fare.

McReynolds says they ultimately hope to create a space where everyone in the community feels welcome and comfortable — and maybe even the perfect spot for “fika.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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