Black & Brew 2: coming soon near you

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Abby McHenry

A second Black and Brew Coffee House and Bistro will be opening in the Lakeland Public Library on Lake Morton this fall. The new location will give customers a completely different experience, while keeping some of the aspects that made the original Black and Brew so popular.

The original Black and Brew is located in downtown Lakeland and serves as a place to study, hang out and get some coffee and food. Both locations are extremely close to the Florida Southern campus.

Chris McArthur, the owner of Black and Brew, said the new location is going to reflect the neighborhood that they are serving. As far as interior and exterior, the atmosphere will be very relaxed, and the decor and seating will reflect that. The patio will be significantly larger, and it will include a combination of lounge and cafe seating.

“We have tried to strike a balance between creating an experience that was unique to this location, but is still everything you’d expect from Black and Brew,” McArthur said.

The food menu will be condensed, but some of the more popular items will be kept. McArthur said the new Black and Brew will have a baker to create completely new offerings of freshly baked goods, including gluten-free items.

The menu will also feature locally made “A Cow Named MOO” ice cream sandwiches and “Hyppo” Ice Pops. Most of the classic menu beverages will be featured, including locally roasted Patriot coffee, but it will include some new items as well including a sparkling cascara cold brew, affogatos, cold brew floats and an extended menu of craft sodas. The new location will be open later on weekdays than the downtown location.

“This project has been over two years in the making, so the anticipation is killing me. i’m especially looking forward to bakery offering we are crafting. It is really special.”

-Chris Mcarthur

McArthur said the decision was made to open at Lake Morton because the city created an opportunity that gave them one more way to be an asset to the community. The city published a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified persons, and when Black and Brew saw the level of creative control they would be able to have, they submitted their plan and won the contract.

With the flagship store nearly at capacity, it made sense to explore other ways to serve customers. The owner’s hope is that Lakelanders will go from asking “Where would you like to meet up?” to “Which Black and Brew did you want to meet up at?” Whichever Black and Brew people decide to go to, the owner hopes to offer the best overall experience for customers.

“It’s been very rewarding to create opportunities for some of our best team members to move into management roles at the new location,” McArthur said.

McArthur is excited that the new location is right on Lake Morton as it will be within walking distance of Florida Southern, in a great neighborhood and serve both the library and museum.

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