Starkville Staple Strange Brew Coffeehouse Coming to the Tuscaloosa Strip
An independent coffeehouse that has become a staple in Starkville, Mississippi is hoping to do the same in Tuscaloosa when they open on the UA Strip sometime next month.
Shane Reed, the shop's owner, told the Thread that the original Strange Brew Coffeehouse opened in Starkville in April 2005.
"We needed a real premium coffeehouse in Starkville & wanted to focus on college students at first. It quickly became a place for the whole community, including students, professionals in the area and younger kids," Reed said. "We’ve been blessed to have some amazing Brewistas & bakers along the way that focus on customer service & making sure the Strange Brew experience is the best. Coffee is really the easy part. All of our coffees are roasted in small batches with care & they’re simply delicious. Along with focus on customer service & coffee, we love to come up with fun baked goodness that will change seasonally."
Now, Strange Brew is leaving Stark Vegas and opening a second location -- this time in the Druid City, on the University of Alabama Strip next to the iconic Gallettes bar.
Reed said with Tuscaloosa less than 100 miles away from Starkville and a unique opportunity to build a following among UA students, coming to Tuscaloosa was a no-brainer.
"I’ve always loved Tuscaloosa & spent a good amount of time here while I was in college at Mississippi State & after. My wife graduated from Alabama & having a Tuscaloosa Strange Brew has always been a dream of ours," he said. "I grew up a Mississippi State/Alabama fan so that helps as well! It’s always difficult to predict the future of business but we’re super excited to be here & be a part of the Alabama/Tuscaloosa community."
Strange Brew's new location will set them up to compete with national brands like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and PJ's Coffee as well as with local joints including Monarch Espresso Bar, Turbo Coffee, UPerk and Heritage House, but Reed said he sees the other coffeeshops as allies, not competitors.
"There are indeed some amazing shops in town already. We always stick to the local shops & support them," Reed said. "Strange Brew kind of does its own thing & we focus on bringing creative & strange drinks to our customers. We have some odd names for drinks but taste & what the customer wants are the most important things to us. I’ve always wanted the Brew to be a shop where everyone feels welcome & can find something they love. Drinks will range from a fantastic cup of black coffee to our signature Albino Squirrel featuring white chocolate and hazelnut."
Reed said Strange Brew is looking to open sometime in December -- follow their socials at @StrangeBrewBama and stay tuned for the Tuscaloosa Thread for more information as it becomes available.