Fans of Chestnut Tree Tea Room and Bistro will now have the option of getting custom gourmet coffee while visiting the restaurant through a partnership with coffee crafter The Mug.
The Mug, which operates a coffee trailer in front of Metzler’s Food & Beverage, will bring their full coffee menu and baristas to a coffee bar inside Chestnut Tree, giving both sit-down patrons and commuters the option of getting crafted coffee alongside their Chestnut Tree fare. The coffee bar gave customers their first taste with a soft opening inside Chestnut Tree on Saturday and plans to operate 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., opening before Chestnut Tree. They will offer prepackaged breakfast pastries and grab-and-go lunch items like sandwiches and salads prepared by the restaurant.
Chestnut Tree owner Suzanne Johnson came to Amie Melton, who owns The Mug, with the idea about six weeks ago. Several customers over the years have asked about Chestnut Tree offering cappuccinos and other espresso-based beverages beyond the brewed coffee they serve, but the expense of bringing in equipment and baristas was more than Johnson wanted to take on. The restaurant had extra space up front since they’d taken out tables to allow for social distancing, so bringing a coffee bar featuring The Mug’s menu made sense, Johnson said.
“Amie’s been a friend of mine for years — I go and get cold brew from her every morning from the trailer, and it just seemed logical because it allows me to help promote another woman-owned business that I absolutely love and bring that into my business,” Johnson said.
The partnership will also bring Cultivar Coffee, which used to have a café inside Hypnotic Donuts before it closed in 2019, back to downtown, Melton said. Though The Mug will offer its full coffee menu — including favorites like the Mexican Chocolate Mocha and Iced Matcha — at the Chestnut Tree location, it will not serve tea and also won’t offer its plant-based energy drinks, at least at first. Grab-and-go items prepared by Chestnut Tree will be served on a rotating menu, and the coffee bar will also offer Pie by Kate.
The pair hopes the venture will be a perfect fit for them both.
“She always wanted to have a coffee bar, and we work really well together,” Melton said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”