Cary News

New BREW expected to open in The Cary by end of year

Downtown Raleigh coffee bar BREW will likely open its second location at The Cary theater by the end of the year.
Downtown Raleigh coffee bar BREW will likely open its second location at The Cary theater by the end of the year.

While BREW owners wait for the Cary Town Council to authorize its lease, they’re hashing out plans to open their second location – BREW at The Cary Theater – by the end of the year.

BREW, which has a location in downtown Raleigh, is owned by A.J. Viola and Mike Sholar and sells both beer and coffee along with light fare.

On Nov. 19, the Cary Town Council will consider authorizing a lease for New Station LLC to take over the cafe and concession area on the first floor of The Cary at 122 E. Chatham St., and to expand the theater’s food offerings.

“We’re excited. We’re ready to see it happen,” Sholar said.

If approved, BREW at The Cary Theater would take over the 800-square-foot concession area and adjoining outdoor patio for three years, according to the lease. The lease would generate $24,000 in revenue for the town – $4,800 the first year and $9,600 each of the following years.

The council previously approved the lease at its Sept. 24 meeting. But before the vote, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill requiring 30 days notice for this type of lease. The meeting had to be advertised again with another public hearing scheduled for November.

“Hopefully after the 19th we’ll have a really good grasp on the timeline and a tentative open date,” Sholar said. “Right now it’s kind of out of our control, so we’re doing the best we can to prepare so we can be ready.”

Viola and Sholar said they have ordered espresso machines, grinders and other necessary tools for making coffee.

BREW opened in September 2014 off Peace Street near Seaboard Station. It offers coffee, espresso and tea from local companies, including Raleigh Coffee Company, with a light breakfast and café lunch menu, wine and craft beer. Sholar said the offerings at the Cary location would be similar with added theater concessions.

“We will offer popcorn and candy and hope to creatively add more options once we open,” Sholar said.

Viola and Sholar plan for BREW at The Cary Theater to be open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The location will be open later on days with evening theater events as well as Saturday and Sunday, with hours to be determined.

According to the lease, the town will be responsible for some of the improvements to the space, including new tables and chairs, as well as minor electrical and plumbing improvements – estimated up to $15,000 – using budgeted funds already earmarked for downtown.

“We would like to be open by the end of the year,” Sholar said. “The length of construction time ... approval, obviously, those things come into play so we just have to kind of play it by ear.”

Kathryn Trogdon; 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon