Early morning coffee sippers and espresso shooters, groggy students and business people craving their caffeine fix before the morning’s duties begin made the Coffee Grounds an important part of downtown Terre Haute. The afternoon crowd in need of a midday boost to push through the rest of the work time hours, and the night crowd of easy going chatterers outside on warm evenings, taking in the view, strumming old acoustic guitars, and puffing on their smokes added urban life to Wabash Avenue. For several sad months, as you well know, the doors of the Coffee Grounds were closed, due to poor business decisions of the previous owners.
Now a downtown institution has been resurrected.
When the news arrived that the Coffee Grounds would reopen under new ownership, and with a hot potato themed menu, I’ll admit, I was both underwhelmed and skeptical. But in the months since Kevin Hunt has reopened the shop; I have steadily been impressed by his business-savvy decision to keep the solid foundation of a coffee shop, while adding features to entice new and previous customers alike. The coffee and espresso drinks are very good, as the same distributors have been retained. Their muffins are simply delicious, actually, every food item I have tried in the last two months has been outrageously tasty!
The successful Tater Joe’s food menu was launched by creating unique flavor combinations, giving out samples to patrons, and crafting a menu based on their favorites. Smart move to enlist your customers’ taste buds. Social media such as FaceBook have helped to get the word out on new flavors and events as well.
In an impromptu interview Hunt asserted his love of all forms of art, and his business supports this statement wonderfully. The long-loved image of the Coffee Grounds remains, with local artists’ work hanging from the brick walls, good music playing over a new sound system he invested in, and a return of the Third Thursday Poetry Readings. Hunt has also begun new features such as a local musicians Open Mic Night, and plans to have more live entertainment featuring new local groups and old favorites, such as Michael Kelsey. He would love to have events every day, and to bring more local creative artists into the fold to enhance opportunities for culture and fun in Terre Haute.
Want to be one of those artists? You can have your art featured at the Coffee Grounds for a month. Contact Grant Karazsia at GKarazsia@gmail.com for more information. Open Mic is every Monday from 7:30 p.m. to around 10 p.m. The Third Thursday Poetry reading is May 15th this month, and every third Thursday of the month, from 7:30 to around 10 p.m. Both events have an open signup sheet, so anyone can participate.