Photos by Hayden Stinebaugh.

In the Fall of 2023, Mad Nice, a modern Italian restaurant in Detroit, opened their casual takeaway spot titled Mad Nice Goods. The 850-square foot space features pastries and lunch options along with a selection of retail goods from local artists, but one key focus of the space is their coffee service. Built around a Modbar integrated into their custom marbled-green counter, coffee is at the center of Mad Nice Goods’ overall vibe.  

“It’s important to have coffee quality be at the forefront of their service, but not the forefront of their space,” says Luke Kirtley, the founder of Coffeehaus, a coffee roastery and consultancy business that helped Mad Nice Goods design their coffee layout. Kirtley explained that Mad Nice Goods offers so many different options to their customers that a traditional countertop espresso machine might have gotten in the way of customer interactions. “When we proposed the Modbar to Heirloom Hospitality, we asked the question, ‘How can we use this machine to have an interactive experience with the guests?’”  

Mad Nice Goods isn’t the first project Kirtley and Coffeehaus have worked on with Heirloom Hospitality. Their Townhouse restaurant was one of Coffeehaus’ first clients eight years ago, and as their relationship evolved over the years, Coffeehaus has continued to work with the group to find the perfect coffee fit for each new concept. When Heirloom opened Mad Nice, their modern Italian restaurant earlier in 2023, Coffeehaus helped them decide on a La Marzocco Linea PB for their espresso service for its reliability and precision. As they planned to open the design-focused Mad Nice Goods, however, Kirtley knew they needed an espresso machine that perfectly integrated into the overall decor. “As a multi-functional concept, espresso at Mad Nice Goods needed to be the highest quality without getting in the way of someone who just stopped in for lunch or to buy something from the retail shelf. Modbar was the perfect fit.” 

Coffeehaus has placed Modbars at other restaurants and cafes in the Detroit area, like The Great Commoner and Bar Pigalle, and one of the reasons Kirtley likes to recommend the system is because of how well it can scale if coffee demand starts to increase. “It’s a lot more cost-effective to add another espresso tap to a module than to try and switch from a single-group espresso machine to a two-group machine,” Kirtley explains. For some of Coffeehaus’ clients, starting with a single-group Modbar system that can scale to a two-group system is key for their budgeting when designing a new space, since they can start small without sacrificing performance and add-on as they see fit if coffee demand increases.  

Mad Nice Goods features a rotating selection of single origin coffees prepared on their Modbar for any visiting guests, and customer response has been overwhelmingly positive. As an offshoot of an already popular restaurant, guests of the smaller space are quickly smitten with the overall aesthetic and wide variety of options on the menu. “It’s about finding the right balance between high quality food and hospitality,” says Kirtley about the early success of Mad Nice Goods. And with an incredibly high-quality coffee program that focuses on staff, coffee selection, and the equipment itself, the overall Modbar experience echoes the casual motto of the space: “Hella Cool. Stupid Good. Mad Nice.”  

Mad Nice Goods is located at 4120 2nd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 .

Visit their official website and follow them on Instagram.

You can also learn more about Coffeehaus by visiting their official website and Instagram page.