Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies: Owner culminates unique life experience into Seabrook shop

Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies features a wall filled with memorabilia during Jon Mel Jarnagin’s days on tour and his time hosting the TV show “The Food Guys.” (Andy Yanez/Community Impact Newspaper)
Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies features a wall filled with memorabilia during Jon Mel Jarnagin’s days on tour and his time hosting the TV show “The Food Guys.” (Andy Yanez/Community Impact Newspaper)

Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies features a wall filled with memorabilia during Jon Mel Jarnagin’s days on tour and his time hosting the TV show “The Food Guys.” (Andy Yanez/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The business sells 12-ounce coffee bags, including flavors such as Electric Voodoo, Damn Fine Day and Houston Strong. Each bag is $12.95. (Andy Yanez/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Mexican Mocha is one of the shop’s many drink offerings and comes in sizes ranging from $5 to $7. (Andy Yanez/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies offers six different flavors of sweet pies, which include peach cobbler, strawberry rhubarb, bananas foster pudding, caramel apple, coconut butter milk and chocolate pudding. Each pie is $5.50. (Courtesy Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies)
Jon Mel Jarnagin has lived a jam-packed life. As a touring singer for 30 years, he traveled with rock groups such as the Stray Cats and The Supersuckers. He also hosted the TV show “The Food Guys” and is a coffee roaster and certified master chef.

All those experiences have culminated into Damn Fine Coffee and Fried Pies, Jarnagin said. The idea for the restaurant and coffee shop combo began eight years ago when he and his wife, Diane Gow, were visiting Coos Bay, Oregon.

The couple came across an old Victorian house on the bay that included a small restaurant and patio. Jarnagin told Gow it would be spectacular if they could own something like that, he said.

“When we saw this property, I realized this property was that,” Jon said. “We had the opportunity to actually do that.”

When the couple moved to Seabrook, they did not immediately jump into launching Damn Fine Coffee. For 2 1/2 years, they sold their coffee at local farmers markets, he said. When they decided to march forward with their vision, they encountered obstacles with COVID-19 and permitting issues.


Once Damn Fine Coffee opened in July 2020, Jarnagin was able to make his and his wife’s vision into reality. While the coffee is what anchored the business, Jarnagin has slowly been able to expand the offerings at Damn Fine Coffee, which now include alcohol after the business was issued a liquor license Sept. 3.

“I’ve learned to never make plans,” he said. “Don’t be married to anything, and stay as fluid as possible because what you think people are going to want is not always what people are going to want.”

In addition to more than 25 drink options, Damn Fine Coffee also offers an expanded food menu that includes various types of sweet and ​​savory pies, scones and gelato.

“We want people to come out and give it a try,” Jarnagin said. “It is something different. It is unique, and there is no place like this anywhere else in the world. This is the only one.”
By Andy Yanez

Reporter, Pearland/Friendswood

Andy joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Houston. He started off as the South Houston Metro Reporter where he helped each different edition in the South Houston market before transitioning to the Pearland/Friendswood market in August 2021. Andy covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Andy served as the sports editor of The Cougar, UH's student newspaper, where he covered the university's athletics beat for two years and got to cover the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four in Indianapolis.


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