The trend continues as more coffee shops start selling beer and wine. Starbucks started selling alcohol to enhance their evening programs in 2010, and local, smaller shops are adopting the merge as well.
Shops in the Valley including 32 Shea, Lux, Cartel, and Urban Bean have made the switch, but places like Sip Coffee & Beer House and Velo Bike Shop started out selling both.
“We opened last March, so just a little over a year ago and it’s been pretty much what we expected. There’s a pretty even flow with the coffee in the morning and drinks at night. It keeps us busy,” says Alex Cardineau, general manager at Sip Coffee & Beer House. “You don’t get a ton of people coming in the morning to buy beer. Everyone still buys coffee. It’s beneficial for people who are here for business meetings in the afternoon or just as a group. If not everyone in the group drinks beer or not everyone drinks coffee, there’s something for everyone.”
Cardineau says he doesn’t expect the combination to make that much of a difference for shops still only selling coffee. He says the businesses are different enough that something like this won’t create a big change for coffee shops in the future.
Another shop that started out selling both is Velo Bike Shop, which opened up in January of this year.
“It’s been really good so far, just the past couple of weeks it has started to explode,” says Jake Spelman, retail specialist and barista at Velo Bike Shop. “The coffee shop especially has done well. As more people have been coming in we’re seeing what works and what doesn’t work.”
Velo Bike Shop has an added uniqueness because along with selling both coffee and beer they also sell bicycles.
“The bike and coffee shop just made sense to us, we love bikes but we like coffee too so we wanted to put them together. Bikers come in and have a great time drinking their coffee but we’re also getting a good chunk of people who come in just for the coffee,” Spelman says. “I think it’s becoming more popular, like Starbucks is selling alcohol too. I think it’s going to become a lot more popular and it’s great because we’re still getting in on it while it’s a new trend.”
So far, joining the two brews has helped business and made for a steady customer flow. It seems like this trend will be one to stay for Valley coffee hotspots.