Chestnut Tree Bistro partners with The Mug to serve up gourmet coffee, grab-and-go lunches

Via a collaboration with coffee crafter The Mug, patrons of Chestnut Tree Tea Room and Bistro will now be able to order custom gourmet coffee when visiting the restaurant.

The Mug, which has a coffee trailer in front of Metzler’s Food & Beverage, will carry their full coffee menu and baristas to a coffee bar within Chestnut Tree, offering both sit-down and commuter customers the option of having designed coffee alongside their Chestnut Tree fare. Customers got their first taste of the coffee bar with a soft opening inside Chestnut Tree on Saturday. It will be open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, opening before Chestnut Tree. Pre-packaged breakfast pastries will be available, as well as grab-and-go lunch items such as sandwiches and salads prepared by the chef.

Suzanne Johnson, the owner of Chestnut Tree, approached Amie Melton, the owner of The Mug, with the idea about six weeks ago. Several customers have asked if Chestnut Tree could serve cappuccinos and other espresso-based drinks in addition to the brewed coffee, but the cost of getting in equipment and baristas was too much for Johnson to bear. Since the restaurant had extra room up front after removing tables to allow for social distancing, Johnson said bringing a coffee bar with The Mug’s menu made sense.

“Amie has been a friend of mine for years, and I go get cold brew from her every morning from the trailer,” Johnson said. “It just seemed reasonable because it helps me to help support another woman-owned company that I absolutely love and put it into my business,” Johnson added.

Cultivar Coffee, which had a café within Hypnotic Donuts before it closed in 2019, will also return to downtown as part of the collaboration, according to Melton. The Mug will serve its full coffee menu at the Chestnut Tree place, including favourites like the Mexican Chocolate Mocha and Iced Matcha, but it will not serve tea or its plant-based energy drinks, at least not at first. On a rotating menu, Chestnut Tree will serve grab-and-go goods, and the coffee bar will also sell Pie by Kate.

The two are hoping that the company would be a good match for them both.

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