New java joint grinds its way to Liberty Square

Hammerhand becomes the newest local business.

Sip, guzzle or swish, the new java joint in Liberty is ready to filter and fuel the rest of the semester.

Ditch the coffee maker in the dorm room and head to the Hammerhand Coffee shop on the Liberty Square. The shop is at 22 North Main St. and will be open frothing milk for cappuccinos next week. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the exact opening day.

“The mission of Hammerhand is simply to serve the people of Liberty and the KC area the best that we can by creating a comfortable, welcoming environment where you can get a surprisingly good cup of coffee,” said operating partner Alex Merrell.

Grinding out single brewed cups of coffee with the help of top-of-the-line equipment, Hammerhand offers quality and consistency. The shop will also be serving up nibbles and tidbits, such as yogurt with granola and decadent croissants from Sasha’s Bakery in Kansas City.

Add a new scene to the regular blend—the new space will be great for college students needing to knock out a study session with back room seating, plenty of outlets, free Wi-Fi and a double shot of espresso on the side.

Or trade in the laptop and jolt some life into a friendship by bringing a pal to sip a mocha and shoot the breeze.

Scarred forever by the atrocity of instant coffee? The shop will also offer options other than java.

“If you aren’t a coffee drinker, we will have a line of craft sodas, great teas and the best hot chocolate you have ever tasted,” said Merrell.  “Also, during the fall and winter months we will have apple cider mulled with ginger and spices.”


Hammerhand is initiating a buzz by planning a grand opening at Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT). The night will include latte art competitions, food, drinks and fun of grande proportions.

That aroma wafting in the air is Counter Culture Coffee from Durham, North Carolina that the shop will be brewing.

“In my biased opinion, they [Counter Culture Coffee] are one of the best roasters in the country. They roast some of the best coffees I have ever tasted and they have a focused commitment to sustainability and development of the countries and farms that they buy from,” said Merrell.

To add a little something novel in your mug, the shop will also feature a local roaster. Showcased first in the line up will be Post Coffee from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Hammerhead will also be serving beer and wine in the afternoons, for those looking for something more potent than caffeine.

“I think it is really nice to be able to sit down and have a nice quality beer or glass of wine in the afternoon in a relaxed, comfortable environment that is not a bar or fancy restaurant,” said Merrell. “That is kind of hard to find in the KC area and I am excited to bring that to Liberty.”

The shop’s partners deliberated long and hard over a name that would put hair on your chest like their coffee. Hammerhand was chosen because it is minor character in “Lord of Rings,” as well as a reference to the American folk tale John Henry, who died with a hammer in his hand.

“I wanted the name to sound unique and memorable, but have anonymity,” said Merrell.

Kansas City native and the sole operating partner of Hammerhand Coffee, Alex Merrell barista-ed his way into the coffee world while living in Philadelphia.

“I worked at an excellent coffee company called Ultimo Coffee,” said Merrell. “It is one of the most quality-focused coffee companies in the country and I was really fortunate to get my start there. They have been nationally recognized and the owner in a World Barista Championship judge.”

A wife and a baby later, Alex moved back to Kansas City and worked at Quay in the River Market. He endeavored to open a coffee shop and happened upon the Liberty square. He hopes Hammerhand’s coffee to foam ratio will bring a positive rush to the community.

Hammerhand promises fresh coffee, a comfortable atmosphere, unique products and baked goods that rendezvoused with the oven that morning. Visit the Merrell and the shop and try a sip.

May your cup of joe be spirited, your foam be foamy and your finish be suave. Cheers.

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