Established in 2016, Prevail Union Montgomery is the second "union" iteration of the Prevail Family. Prevail Union is a craft coffee shop focusing on delivering fresh roasted coffee and unique drinks while in a comfortable environment. We work with and care deeply about our farmers and work with like-minded producers all over the world to source incredible coffee's, grown with pride and patient respect for our Earth.
We stand by our farmers with partnerships based on integrity and fair pricing. We believe, along with William Faulkner, that "man will not merely endure, he will prevail... because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion, sacrifice and endurance". We see our craft as a "privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride" that it takes for a small seed to travel thousands of miles, through many caring hands from the soil to your cup. It's a monumental task for such a seemingly simple thing which constantly reminds us that alone, we may endure, but together we prevail. Join our journey and experience what happens when farmers, roasters and baristas come together with a combination of hard work and elegance that can only come from the Deep South.
The former S.H. Kress & Co. department store on the main drag of Dexter Avenue has just been renovated and reopened as the Kress on Dexter, a mixed-use development leading the downtown commercial renaissance. Now businesses and apartments share the original 1929 vintage building with restored terrazzo floors, ornate plaster moldings and the original signs for “colored” and “white” drinking fountains — stark reminders of segregation. Browse its street level art gallery and engage with its podcast studio, Storybooth, inspired by the many Montgomery residents with vivid recollections of the Civil Rights era. Visitors to the studio, which looks like an old-fashioned telephone booth, can dial up stories recorded by locals. Sustain your tour with a cappuccino ($3.50) from Prevail Union Craft Coffee.
A double shot of modernity for the capital city's handsome but still sleepy downtown, this up-to-speed café from Auburn's Prevail Coffee Roasters plants a flag for the future, just down Dexter Avenue from the seat of state government. Housed in temporary digs just now, the café will ultimately land inside an impressive (and almost completed) mixed-use complex just over Court Square, carved from Montgomery's iconic Kress building.
Also try Two UA grads who learned the craft in Nashville returned to Tuscaloosa to open Monarch Espresso, while in Birmingham, the extremely pro-bike Woodlawn Cycle Café vibes coffee shop, but functions more like an all-day café (a very good-looking one, at that).
Today there is a craft-coffee shop across the street, on the first floor of a building from 1898, which was home to the S. H. Kress & Co. department store. During a recent renovation, workers found bricks made by enslaved women, which were donated to the Equal Justice Initiative. Hip and industrial, it resembles a coffee shop that one might find in San Francisco. It seems odd for such a place to look out on a former slave market, especially given the historic connection between slavery and coffee. Yet these two spaces appear to be in deep conversation with each other. The shop’s owners, who are white, got interested in ethically sourced coffee while working for an N.G.O. in West Africa. We ordered coffee and biscuits and wondered whether the past that has made Alabama infamous could be a force for economic development, as the new memorial draws visitors to the area. Would that revival benefit its citizens equally? The name of the coffee shop, which isn’t visible from the street outside, is Prevail Union.
I did end up at Central on another night, and it was indeed quite good — part of a growing culinary scene that will include gourmet offerings at the renovated Kress on Dexter building downtown, which opens in April. The former block-wide department store, built in 1929, will host rotating pop-up markets devoted to local artists — and has been engaged in incredibly responsible historical preservation, which has included donating bricks made by enslaved people to EJI — as well as keep its old “Whites Only” and “Colored Only” signs on display for posterity. I’m also a fan of the coffee shops Prevail Union and Cafe Louisa, as well as bar standouts like Leroy Lounge, a dive with a terrific selection of wines and craft beers, and Aviator Bar, covered in airplane-themed kitsch — inspired by the Wright Brothers, who started the country’s first civilian flight school outside Montgomery.
39 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104
Monday - Saturday 7am - 8pm
Sunday 8am - 3pm