Revelator opens Sweet Jon’s ; intimate, personal cafe in Homewood’s old Octane

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Photo: Mary Fehr ,

Maybe you have noticed that Octane in Homewood on Central Avenue isn’t…well…isn’t Octane any more. Southern coffee powerhouse, Revelator, owner of Octane, made some changes and  opened an intimate, personal restaurant called Sweet Jon’s Café. 

Still a Revelator branded concept, but it’s a solo incarnation, specifically designed for this Homewood location.


I caught up with Joshua Blackwell the Executive Chef and a Regional Director of Revelator to ask him a little about this new café.

Revelator Coffee is headquartered right here in Birmingham, though they have stores in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Photo: Mary Fehr ,
What’s in a name?

Sweet Jon’s is named after Joshua’s partner of nine years.

“Jon is synonymous, to me, with all things from the earth. Over the years, he has cultivated many bountiful gardens. Jon has always made time to create beautiful spaces that inspire well-being and celebrate the present. I wanted to bring that energy to this space.” Joshua Blackwell.

Photo: Mary Fehr ,

When the weather gets warmer Sweet Jon’s will expand the already lush garden room to create more space for diners and coffee patrons to hang out amid the plants, while they enjoy the really good menu items. They plan to create a chef’s counter, which is a cool way to watch the kitchen action happen and a snack bar.

Sweet Jon’s breakfast/cafe menu is simple and will change quarterly. Their brunch and supper menus will frequently change. Joshua Blackwell assured

“You can always expect a few surprises along the way!”

So why did Revelator decide to open this concept here in Birmingham?  They have a strong presence in Atlanta and other states.

Photo: Mary Fehr ,

“Birmingham is a very different city than its former self. I am very happy to have the opportunity to take part in its revitalization. We feel so supported by our patrons, friends and community partners. I am proud to call Birmingham my home.” Joshua Blackwell.

In an article recently about the growth of this coffee company, Revelator president Josh Owen was asked what makes Revelator “Southern” with its  Scandinavian decor and industrial, clean vibe. He explained:

Photo: Mary Fehr ,

“To be successful, particularly in the South, I think we have to be a hospitality company first and a coffee company second,” Owen says. “This is about providing an experience to our customers. And that experience comes in a lot of forms.” Josh Owen.

The company has 23 coffee shops, coffee stalls and cafes throughout the Southeast and Northeast. There are several new and exciting projects in the planning stages for the Birmingham market as well as other locales.

Sweet Jon's Cafe
Photo: Mary Fehr /

So stop in at Sweet Jon’s Café, maybe this is yet another form of Southern hospitality done in a new, fresh way. It’s always nice to see a home-grown business concept grow and prosper right here in our city.

Sweet Jon’s Cafe. 2821 Central Avenue, #105