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Baristas Peyton Watson, and her mother and owner of KentJava Bar, Sherry Watson, serve a customer at the new coffee shop along East Chestnut Street in downtown Corydon. Photo by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

KentJava offers a cup of joe

December 24, 2013 | 08:30 AM

For more than a decade, Sherry Watson toyed with the idea of opening a coffee shop in downtown Corydon. But, the timing was never right.

After hearing her mother ponder as to whether or not it was a good idea, Watson's teenage daughter, Peyton, went to social media for additional prodding.

"She posted something on Facebook like, 'If this gets 100 likes, my mom will open a coffee shop,' and I told her that it probably would have been a good idea had I known about it," Watson said with a laugh. "And, yeah, it got way more than a hundred likes. Of course, it was mostly her friends."

That wasn't what set everything in motion for the newly-opened KentJava Bar along Chestnut Street, however. Watson said being an example for her daughter also played a role.

"When our children are growing up, we always tell them they can do whatever they want, to go for the moon," she said. "It just clicked one day when she told me that I should just go for it. What kind of an example am I setting in talking about it for 10 years and haven't done anything?

"It was a leap of faith, and I really think it was a God-thing that things just started to happen," Watson added. "It was time to do it."

KentJava Bar was named in memory of Watson's late husband, Kent, who succumbed to cancer in April 2007. Kent's name in Spanish was Kentavo, which was his nickname in school. The summer after Kent passed away, Watson visited her husband's best friend in Owensboro, Ky., Craig Alstott. The two sat on a back porch for hours before Alstott came up with the name: KentJava.

"I just knew that was it, and it has stuck ever since," Watson said.

KentJava features fresh roasted coffee beans provided by Quills Coffee in New Albany, offers handcrafted espresso, cappuccinos, batch brews, hot chocolate, tea and pastries and, in the spring, will offer smoothies, cold-cut sandwiches and salads.

"We wanted to start with the basics," Watson said. "Every drink starts with a double-shot of espresso and then we go from there. We had a lady come in who wanted a Cubano, which we'd never made before. She talked us through it, and so we have that now. If there's something that we don't know how to make, we'll try to learn."

Prices range from $1.90 for an 8-ounce in-house coffee (75-cent refill) up to $4.50 for a 16-ounce mocha latte. The soft-opening menu probably won't change too much, though items are being added.

The refreshments can be taken on the go, or there's ample seating in the original brick-walled building, from two- and four-seat tables to a spacious bar topped with new and old pennies made to look like coffee mugs.

There's also a window where Watson hopes to display local artists, or have acoustic entertainment, in the future.

"We want this to be a warm, inviting place," Watson said.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; the shop is closed on Sundays. The hours may be tweaked in the future to meet demand, Watson said.

KentJava Bar is located at 227 E. Chestnut St. The phone number is 1-812-596-0185.

Twitter: @_alanstewart

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    December 29, 2013 | 03:16 PM

    Congrats Sherry!! Kent would be very proud not only of the name but also that you followed your dream after 10 years.

    Cheryl Fisher
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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email