Gahanna coffee shop owners run art gallery out of abandoned car wash

Working out of a mobile coffee shop in Gahanna across the street from an old, vacant car wash, Matt Roberson couldn’t help but daydream about what that empty, decrepit space could house.  

Maybe it could be a gallery for artists like himself — or at least a place for people to hang murals in the abandoned washing bays. 

Or maybe he could start a “plant library” where people with green thumbs — like his wife — could exchange greenery from their own yards. 

Since 2018,  he and his wife, Kayla, who own Blank Slate Coffee, havemade those dreams a unique reality — with the blessing of the property’s owner, a local developer, Matt Roberson said.

Matt Roberson stands in front of a piece of art that reads, "Grow Something," in the Plant Library in Gahanna.

“It was just this gray space that was going to be developed later,” he said of the structure on the corner of Mill and North streets near the northern end of Gahanna’s popular Creekside District. 

“When we heard they were going to tear it down, we thought we’d have some fun – and that was almost five years ago. We’ve put in there any weird thing that we thought would be fun. If there was cool stuff here, we thought we might get more customers.” 

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