Porter Books & Bread
Writer and Photographer / Kara Reibel
Along the east side of Lawton Loop at Fort Benjamin Harrison in a converted barracks resides Porter Books & Bread. Featuring fresh baked goods, local coffees and sandwiches, Porter Books & Bread has become a fast favorite among local residents.
“We are very happy at how well received Porter has been,” shares owner Will Worley who does all of the baking except “the sweet stuff” which is made by his wife, Marcy. The Worleys fell in love with the area around the Fort.
Opening at 6 a.m. most days, Porter uses a French press to make their coffee, all of which is locally roasted. Porter is proud to use local coffee beans from Mile Square and Brickhouse. Both roasters provide a cold brew option as well. According to Marcy, “Cold brew in itself is more smooth than traditional brewed coffee, and neither really need cream or milk.”
The main motivation for opening Porter Books & Bread is Will and Marcy’s love of sandwiches. They use unique ingredients such as a family recipe for southern pimento cheese on the Twain which makes for an interesting twist to grilled cheese.
The Austin and Vonnegut sandwiches use Smoking Goose smoked turkey breast as the protein base and special elements such as fromage frais purchased from the Tulip Tree Creamery, another popular local vendor. Even their baby romaine is from a local greenhouse in Peru, Indiana, named Green River Greenhouse.
The book side of the business is a collection of used books that are available for purchase or trade. “We have customers bring in bags of used books and take a couple off the shelves,” says Will.
The ambience and decor of the interior lends itself to a relaxing atmosphere that is urban in feel yet comfortable like your grandmother’s kitchen.
Building owners and Lawton Loop residents Ali and Tom Marten are thrilled with Porter Books & Bread being located in their building.
“We kept as many of the historic characteristics and elements in the building as we could,” shares Ali.
“The exposed brick and beams are original, and we have salvaged as much of the original hardwood flooring.”
The efforts of pulling up tile and glue from the floors to expose the beautiful hardwood flooring beneath was worth the effort. The concrete floors of the lower level were polished, maintaining as much of the original integrity of the building as possible. Perhaps the most notable historic element is the tin ceiling on the stairway. “After stripping off layers of paint, we discovered the original tin ceiling,” shares Ali.
Entrances are located on both sides of the building, making parking easy. This spring, a back patio area will be added as well as wraparound porches to the building.
Visit PorterBread.com for more information or just walk or drive over. Coffee is steeping in the French press, and a sandwich named after a famous author is calling to you.