This 1940s Texas Wesleyan-Area Building Could Soon Be Getting a New Life

Early plans are in motion to bring a new business to a vacant 1940s building on Vaughn Boulevard.

Mia Moss — daughter-in-law of former Fort Worth City Councilman Frank Moss  — is planning to open a coffee shop at 1417 Vaughn Blvd., the former home of soul food restaurant Poly Grill, just a block from the Texas Wesleyan University campus.

The building stands a block away from Texas Wesleyan. 

The coffee shop will be called Black Coffee, inspired by “all my family ever drank” growing up, Moss said. But the menu will have a little more than black coffee — Moss, who attended the American Barista & Coffee School in Portland, plans to serve espresso-based beverages like cappuccinos, lattes and mochas, as well as teas and, eventually, local beer and wine for the afternoons. She also plans to carry pastries and premade salads, wraps and other items.

The 1,373-square-foot building was built in 1940. Its most recent tenant was Poly Grill, a soul food restaurant that closed in 2013. The following year, David Howard, president of the nonprofit Empower ME Corporation, purchased the property. He is currently in the process of selling the building to a new owner, a friend of Moss, who did not wish to be identified. Moss will then lease the building from the new owner.

Howard said the sale should be finalized in 20 days. He is selling the building for $180,000, saying he believes in the building’s new purpose.

“[The coffee shop] is much needed in the community,” he said.

There’s still much work to be done. Moss says she is looking for a potential investor for the project and researching wholesale coffee suppliers. She also needs an architect that will help carry out her vision for the shop — she’s currently picturing a wood-dominated space that incorporates deep colors.

“I want to make sure we merge the coffee culture with the culture on the East Side,” she said.

There’s no timeline for the project, Moss said. “The thing is, I’m not in a rush. I just want to make sure it’s done right … I’m enjoying the process.”