Sneak peek: PB & Java

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by Eric Ginsburg

Charlie and Ruth Jones, the self-described “peculiar people” behind Greensboro’s forthcoming peculiar café, are almost ready to open their doors.

On May 15, they invited a small throng of people to check out PB & Java, a bonafide peanut butter and jelly “sammich” joint that doubles as a coffee shop, and will eventually house a theater space in the back.

The couple now expects to open the 614 S. Elm St. space in mid June, about a month from now, Ruth Jones said this afternoon.

PB & Java ran a limited menu, featuring several of its sandwiches including the incredibly tasty Bangkok Bomb, which features peanut butter, Thai flavors, fresh minced ginger and fresh Thai basil. It’s the business’ most requested sammich, the sign reads, and with good reason; the punch of the ginger and heat of the flavoring is smoothed over by the peanut butter, and served hot (because the sandwich is pressed). All for $3.75, the most any of the food costs.

PB & Java also served up the Fat Elvis, a peanut butter, honey, banana and bacon sandwich, but did not have its Big Apple (with peanut butter, fresh sliced apple, cheese and honey) or the Campfire (peanut butter, graham cracker, Nutella and marshmellow fluff) available yet.

Friends, family and investors flocked the space near Elsewhere and Mellow Mushroom on downtown Greensboro’s South End on Friday, and the packed seating made it a little difficult to move around the venue freely.

The decor of the renovated building added greatly to the vibe, from the metalwork on the front door to old copies of Greensboro newspapers that appeared to be wheatpasted to some walls and fantastic old stained glass windows propped in front of windows on the side.

The affordable price, sweet snack food and ambiance could signal a sea-change for that block of downtown. Hype has been building — and fading — about the business for years since the concept was first announced, but the space appears ready and the food more than worthy. In the last year, a renaissance on West Lewis Street has emerged, not to mention a few high-profile restaurant openings downtown, all of which may aid PB & Java.

Below: See photos of the food, people, menu and business on Friday afternoon.

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