Next to 160 Ross and across from the Douglas J. Watson Municipal Complex stands the 111-year-old “Ross House,” now home to Ross House Coffee Company as of its grand opening Monday morning.
Operating between 6:30 a.m. and 11 p.m., the new residency-turned-coffee-spot offers customers coffee, espresso, pastries, desserts and iced drinks with plenty of space to sit in a variety of armchairs, table settings and barstools.
Owned by Toni and Todd Holt, also owners of Toomers Coffee, the Ross House Coffee Company will now not only provide Auburn students and residents a new place for their necessary caffeination, but will also continue the communal tradition of the Ross House.
“From everything I’ve heard from other people in Auburn, it’s a very special house,” Holt said.
The 2,500-square-foot house was built in 1906 by a contractor whose wife rented out rooms to tenants, Holt said. Local attorney Steve Benson bought the house next, and he too rented out rooms to students. This particular group of students called themselves the “Ross Boys” because of their affection for the property.
When Benson put the house up for sale to be used as a commercial property just over a year ago, the Ross Boys gathered over 1,300 signatures on a petition to “Save the Ross House” from potential complexes like 160 Ross tearing it down to make way for new apartments, Holt explained.
Hearing about the house from a friend, Holt said she bought the property in January of this year to preserve the building. She then decided she would invite the people of Auburn to enjoy its history, and a cup of coffee too.
“I’m just excited to share it with the community,” Holt said. “I think they will love it and it will provide a place for people to relax and have some peace for a little while.”
Holt said Ross House Coffee Company, alongside the standard operation, will feature live music on Friday and Saturday nights and offer rent-able rooms for worship services or studying.