Seth Kligerman, Kyle Thorne, and Will Landicho aren’t billing Forin Cafe as a “coffee shop.”
It’s a “cafe and lifestyle hub,” set on two minimalist levels in the former loading dock of the old Harbisons dairy plant off Front Street in Kensington — now an 86-unit apartment building. The address is 2041 Coral St., but the entrance is on Dreer Street.
Where there are apartment-dwellers, there needs to be coffee.
Forin, partnering with Moonraker (which makes the house blend), Persimmon, and Triangle Roasters (which supplies a vegan chocolate bar), also sells kombucha from JamBru, baked goods from Darnel’s Cakes, Kismet Bagels, Amaranth Bakery, and Au Fournil, and honey from Honeybee Shoppe Apiary, as well as crafts and merchandise from other small, independent businesses — even minimalist garments and home goods from small producers, including the Corner Store, Wynnefield Candle Co., and Frunzi Ceramics.
Forin also is giving over space on its roomy loft to local artists in hopes of creating collaborations.
The food menu will be kept simple. Drinks include espresso, pour-over, and drip coffee, a soda, a smoothie blended with milk from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op and Blue Majik, and a nonalcoholic “spritz” made with Lyres (an Aperol-like drink), kombucha, soda, and mint. It’s a different era at the dairy — Forin offers plenty of nondairy milk options.
“We want to collaborate with folks who want to work together and have fun,” said Landicho, whose background is in hotels in the New York area. He also wants to give the area’s Filipino community a hub.
The project came together during the pandemic. Horne was in human relations consulting, and Kligerman is a veteran restaurant manager with stops at Square 1682, Zavino, and Enza.
Horne’s father, Scott, a craftsman from Johnsonville, Pa., built it all.
The Harbisons plant, incidentally, had been idled for decades before its redevelopment. The iconic milk bottle-shaped water tower — a long-standing rusted hulk soaring over the Market-Frankford El between the Berks and York-Dauphin stations — was declared historic and refurbished.