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Cup 'n' Cork gets ready for its move to new location one block over
Change is brewing at downtown hangout Cup 'n' Cork.
The coffee house-slash-bistro is moving a few blocks over into the building at the corner of Independence and Spanish streets, right across from The Library bar.
Owners Patrick and Tina Abbott said the move is an exciting step up for Cup 'n' Cork, and are looking forward to moving in at the end of the month.
"We're going to close the 30th, move, and hopefully be back open by that next Tuesday [Sept. 2], depending on when we can get the inspectors in," Patrick Abbott said.
The move grew out of a casual conversation with the property manager, Annie Criddle.
"She's a regular; we were just talking and it came up," Tina Abbott said. "It was a pretty quick deal."
The dining room in the new place is comparable to the size of the current space at 5 N. Main St., with whitewashed brick on one side and the bar to be installed opposite.
A separate room on the other side of the brick houses a lounge for "soft seating" (Patrick said he's been told it's not a coffee house without a sofa) and a long extra room where the Abbotts plan on hosting more private affairs such as meetings or receptions. The room also will be used for overflow if the main room becomes too crowded.
"We'll be able to do everything from wedding receptions to private wine tastings," Tina Abbott said.
The new location's opening will coincide with the debut of a redesigned menu, something the Abbotts say they have been contemplating for a while.
"We will also have a kitchen, which we don't have now," Patrick Abbott said. "We're more or less on hot plates now. High-tech hot plates, but nevertheless, we'll be able to do more than what you can do with just a panini grill."
The Abbotts mentioned a chicken Philly cheesesteak and a wider daily soup selection as a taste of what customers can expect from the new kitchen.
The new spot also will feature an outdoor courtyard; a broad, brick patio surrounded at the moment with hedges and flower beds, grown lush and pampered in the mild summer. A cream-painted wrought-iron fence surrounds the area.
"We'll be able to fit about a dozen outdoor tables in the courtyard," Patrick Abbott said. "Which triples our current outdoor seating."
Abbott explained that the outdoor space also will serve to broaden the live music palette that Cup 'n' Cork is able to host in addition to its Thursday and Friday sets.
"In [the current location], you have a hard time having anything more than acoustic or really tame electric," he said. "In the new space, we'll be able to have full bands with full amplification."
The courtyard sits arrayed under a river city mural, the first to be commissioned in town. But that's not the extent of the building's historical distinction.
Annie Criddle explained that the custom pressed-metal front, installed in the early 1900s, has garnered the property a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
"There were brothers named Mesker at the turn of the century who made these, but most of them have been taken down for a number of reasons," she said. "There really aren't a lot of Mesker fronts left in the region."
Luckily, the Abbotts won't have to do very much in the way of renovations other than paint.
"That's the main reason we're hoping to be able to move in over the course of Labor Day weekend," Patrick Abbott said.
And while their aesthetic may change slightly, the Abbotts plan on keeping the cozy atmosphere their clientele has grown to expect. They will still display local art, and the wall of wine isn't going anywhere.
"What we focus on is trying to make everyone who comes in here feel as if they're coming into our own home," Tina Abbott said. "This is just the next step; the next level. We're really excited to see what will happen once we get into the new space."
11 S. Spanish St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.
5 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.