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Brew: Coffee and beer for the people

The downtown Raleigh coffee scene just keeps getting better. Brew Coffee Bar opened for business on Labor Day and has already seen a steady flow of customers excited to welcome a local coffee shop to downtown Raleigh's Seaboard Station.

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Brew Coffee Bar
Triangle Explorer John Huisman
RALEIGH, N.C. — The downtown Raleigh coffee scene just keeps getting better. Brew Coffee Bar opened for business on Labor Day and has already seen a steady flow of customers excited to welcome a local coffee shop to downtown Raleigh’s Seaboard Station.

Brew was opened by friends and business partners A.J. Viola and Mike Sholar. They are both longtime fans of the local coffee scene and share the vision to create a place where the community can come together and enjoy great coffee and beer.

The shop is an inviting space featuring high ceilings, modern lighting and a bar made from reclaimed wood sourced from an old textile mill in Durham. As you walk in the door the daily coffee offerings are displayed artfully on large chalkboard along the wall making it easy to view the coffee menu and explore a new coffee to try. The front of the shop offers seating at the bar and individual tables along a wooden bench that runs the length of the wall. Outlets are plentiful throughout the seating area and they have free wi-fi. For those looking for a quiet nook to study, there is an additional seating area in the back of the shop that offers bar top seating facing out a large floor to ceiling window that overlooks crape myrtle trees and Peace Street.

Brew offers a full lineup of coffee and espresso drinks with everything from lattes and cappuccinos to individually made cups of coffee made using the manual pourover method. For customers on the go they offer drip coffee as well. Milk for the espresso based drinks comes from North Carolina Dairy Homeland Creamery and Brew offers almond milk for those seeking a dairy alternative. One of the highlights of the coffee menu is the great house made cold-brewed coffee that is served from a tap using a nitrogen draft system. The coffee beans at brew are supplied from local roaster Raleigh Coffee Company. There are also plans to add another local “guest” roaster which will rotate monthly.

Brew offers local craft beer as well. They recently received the necessary permits and are now selling delicious beer. The first local beer they plan to serve is Raleigh’s Crank Arm Brewing. From there they will do a monthly “tap takeover” that will feature two rotating draft beers. There also plans to offer a few additional local beers in bottles and cans and adding wine to the drink menu as well.

For those looking for something to nibble on with their coffee Brew sells house made baked goods created by A.J.’s wife Cynthia Viola. Current food offerings range from fresh baked cookies, muffins, biscotti and macaroons. There are plans to expand the food menu in the future. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, Brew also carries organic and fair-trade Rishi teas, glass-bottled sodas, chocolate milk and hot chocolate for the kids. Coffee and espresso drink prices range from $2 to $5 with the current food offerings at $1 for cookies to $2 for muffins.

Brew is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed on Sunday.



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