Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Coffee shop to serve liquor

If you walk along the 100 block of Scott Street on any given morning, you’re bound to see dozens of people stepping into “From the Grind Up.” 
However, in the coming weeks, the quaint coffee shop also will be in the business of helping patrons wind down in the evening.

The locally-owned shop was granted a liquor licence last week, which will allow it to sell beer and wine to on-premise customers.
It’s a scenario owner/operator Ben Morelli said he’s been hoping for since the cafe opened last year.
“I am really excited about it,” he enthused.
“The application was filed a few months ago but I have been working on it for seven months,” Morelli noted.
He said the process was drawn out due to a need for approval from the town, the fire department, and a health inspector.
“These things take a while,” he reasoned. “But hopefully it will be worth the wait.”
While Morelli said he’ll be serving Lake of the Woods draft beer exclusively for the time being, he hopes to add coffee liquors and a hand-selected wine list at a later date.
“We are going to stay away from hard liquor because it doesn’t really go with the vibe here,” he explained.
“I am hoping to create an upscale space where a professional crowd can come and have a few drinks before they start their evening.”
Morelli stressed that although the hours of operation may change down the road, the cafe hopes to maintain its low-key atmosphere.
“We are going to keep our hours for now, but pretty soon I am going to expand them on Thursdays and Fridays until 10 [p.m.],” he noted, adding they’ll start serving liquor at 11 a.m.
“The purpose of that is to catch an after-work crowd,” he said.
“We will be introducing some appetizers and serving our lunch menu all night, but I won’t be serving entrees right off the bat,” Morelli added.
The ambitious 28-year-old said this is just one of many business ventures he has planned for the cafe.
“I am trying to hit a goal every year,” he remarked.
“This year it’s the liquor licence and next year, I’d like to be mobile so I can go to events and take the espresso machine on the road with me.
“The reception has been great around town and now that we are an established business, I can bring all of these ideas to life,” he said.
Morelli hopes the introduction of alcohol will open doors for nightlife in the venue, citing board game nights, entertainment, and private bookings as a few potential events.
“We are looking to fill a void downtown and build a sense of community,” he said.
“[But] as of right now, I just don’t really have a product that people are purchasing after six in the evening.
“So I think getting the liquor licence, and having an upscale [venue], will give people a reason to come out and meet up with each other,” he reasoned.
“It is all about experimenting at this point,” Morelli admitted.
“We will start with the beer and wine and go from there.”
“From the Grind Up” currently is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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