By Audrey Dukes
The Foundry is an open room, with couches, tables, dimmed lights and rustic decor. The smell of fresh coffee fills the air along with the sound of conversation and baristas at work preparing coffee for customers. During a Tuesday or Thursday music night there are chairs set up in front for anyone who wants to watch the musicians perform.
This coffee shop is located downtown in an old refurbished building. It is owned by Bethel Bible Church and provides a gathering place to promote the community and the arts.
“The Foundry is about forging conversation and community. We want to do that with coffee but also with the arts and entertainment,” said Eric Barton, Bethel Bible Church Downtown Campus Pastor.
A Foundry, is a place where metals are forged which is what the Foundry wants to see in those who visit. They want to forge new friendships and relationships, and grow relationships, said Trey Andrews, a barista at the Foundry.
The Foundry offers live musical events twice a week that feature local artists. Tuesday nights from 6-9 p.m. they offer an open mic event where any musician can sign up to perform. On Thursday nights, from 7-9 p.m. the Foundry asks one local musician to perform.
Josh Modisette, director of the coffee house, said the music usually features a singer and songwriter in a low-key environment to create a comfortable atmosphere for conversation.
“There is something disarming about live music. We believe that music is a thoroughfare of culture,”said Barton. “It helps people to connect that might not otherwise connect. It’s the other way of providing a venue that is safe where they can come and share great sounding music, a great cup of coffee and maybe even a great slice of pie.”
By having live music, the Foundry hopes to bring more of the arts to Tyler. Through the music nights they also hope to help enhance the local music scene.
“We’ve got a lot of really talented musicians and artists here in Tyler that you’ll never hear about, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to be heard,” said Modisettee.
The music played at the Foundry is not specific to one genre. It is a combination of all types of music, and could be deep folk, soul, contemporary rock, folk pop, bluegrass or jazz, said Barton.
The music nights at the Foundry are not geared to one specific group of people either.
“We want every person to feel comfortable if they are in the audience. And also we want the people there hanging out, maybe for some Thursdays they might be playing a board game or studying. We just want them to be able to sit and do what they are able to do while music is being played and enjoy a cup of coffee and also enjoy a great sound coming from the microphone,” said Andrews.
The Foundry is located in downtown Tyler just off of the square. Barton described it as “urban, industrial, and eclectic.”
“The idea is kind of blending the old and the new and demonstrating what we call redemptive recreation,” said Barton. “A space where old things get made new.”
If anyone wants to get involved with the music events at the Foundry, come on a Tuesday night for open mic, said Modisette. The Foundry encourages people to participate in the music events by performing or coming to watch. Also, come by the Foundry on Fridays for Friday Pie day.
The Foundry is located on 202 S. Broadway Ave. Tyler. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information about the Foundry visit their website at foundry-coffee.com or call at (903)944-7805.