Flow State CoffeeBar Finds A Home In Kensington


A September/October opening date is being targeted, as well as the addition of a coworking space in a year’s time.

Back in July, I wrote about how the pastries and snacks made by Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc had me very excited about the eventual opening of Flow State CoffeeBar—a venture she’s entering into with Liz Diamond-Manlusoc, her wife, and Maggie Lee, a mutual friend. Melanie and Liz recently sold their home in Chicago ahead of moving into the same Kensington neighborhood as Philly native Lee.

Flow State

Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc, Liz Diamond-Manlusoc, and Maggie Lee at 2413 Frankford Ave.

Given all the good coffee we have in Philly now, you need something else to stand out, right? Well, Melanie’s approach of using the best ingredients and perfecting every last item she makes—her contribution as pastry chef at Michelin starred Spiaggia and Blackbird in Chicago—definitely won me over. So while Flow State is working out the details of their coffee program with Square One Coffee, you can rest assured that the house made zaletti (soft corn flour cookies) and chocolate brownies will be much more of a draw than the free wifi (read more here).

I got to try Melanie’s stunning gelato at a subsequent fundraiser pop-up, as well as during a tricycle driven gelato crawl they did throughout the city. Melanie’s gelato represents the same philosophy that goes into her pastries. As such, strong, clean flavors jump out without overwhelming. While every flavor I tried was incredible, the standout for me was the lavender, which I was more than happy to take home and pair with lemon cake from Market Day Canele, as well as a some marigold flowers from Neighborhood Farms, and black walnut balsamic from Cardenas Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom.

Cake and Ice cream

I found a good use for Melanie’s lavender gelato.

Flow State CoffeeBar will feature pastries, light snacks, and gelato in addition to their coffee program. They’re tentatively planning on being open 7am to 6pm Monday through Thursday; 8am to 5pm Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday. As soon as they obtain their license—which could happen in time for their September/October opening—Flow State CoffeeBar will run a rotating list of local beers on draft, with hours expanded later into the evening (as late as 9 or 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) accompanied by a late night bar snack menu.

The café will occupy the first floor of a mixed-use building at 2413 Frankford ave (close to Pizza Brain and Philadelphia Brewing Co.) that went up in the last year, Lee says. The plan is to convert the basement into a coworking space in about a year’s time.

With only the plumbing and the electrical work in place, they’re now working with architects and are seeking permits after signing their lease yesterday (Monday, May 8th).

Ahead of the fall, you can catch Flow State CoffeeBar at the Kinetic Sculpture Derby on May 20th (they’re bringing lots of cold brew) and at The Taste of Kensington (a benefit for Greensgrow Farms) on June 10th at Philadelphia Brewing Company (they’re contributing a basket for the silent auction).

Given the iconic scene where Paul Newman talks being in the groove (he calls it the flow state), let’s just hope a poster from The Hustler makes an appearance.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s