Business Brief: Downtown Cary Coffee House?

Cary, NC – Cary Town Council will be considering approval for a Larry’s Beans in the Historic Jones-Foy House at the next regular council meeting scheduled for July 26.

Larry’s Beans

Based on responses to a Request for Proposals issued this spring, the Cary Town Council will consider a staff recommendation to enter into an option with the Raleigh-based coffee roaster Larry’s Beans to lease the historic Jones-Foy House at 324 S. Academy Street across from the Cary Arts Center.

Lawrence Coffee Bar+, the company’s first retail endeavor, would be a two-story café open daily serving seasonal menus of light breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside its popular coffee and a special collection of wine, local beers and craft sodas. If approved, Lawrence Coffee Bar+ could open this winter and would represent the first public-private partnership in Cary’s revitalizing downtown.

“We appreciate Larry’s interest in wanting to do business within the Town of Cary and look forward to the direction Council will give us at its next meeting,” said Ed Gawf, Downtown Development Manager.

Concept That’s Been Brewing

“The concept of a place like this has been brewing in my head for years,” said Larry Larson, founder and CEO of Larry’s Beans. “I see it as an oasis from the harder edges of life. We want to translate the magic of our coffee roasting to a setting where people can sit and experience simple, exquisite pleasures from the earth, from the world’s most wonderful coffees to our latest wine discoveries to local organic food. The Jones House is the ideal setting for creating a cozy space with a big frame of mind —  the kind of magical place you can’t wait to get to and never want to leave.”

The proposed lease commits Larry’s Beans to a five-year agreement; the company would pay the Town an annual rent of $24,312 for the first two years and $30,390 annually for the last three years.  The Town would complete a variety of interior and exterior renovations to the support systems of the structure.

Planned aesthetic improvements by both Larry’s Beans and the Town of Cary will preserve the home’s distinctive Queen Anne style, including the picturesque roofline, wrap-around porch and elaborate trim. The Town is committing an estimated $225,000 towards the partnership, part from the Town’s share of the federal Community Development Block Grant Program and part from funds dedicated to downtown in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

Should the Council vote to move forward with the lease, staff will post bid proposals for construction and renovation in August. Firms interested in participating in the bidding process should go to the Town’s website and  look for a list of current bids under “Doing Business”.

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Photo by Hal Goodtree.

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2 replies
  1. Gary
    Gary says:

    I hope for pedestrian safety, walking across Dry St. to/from the Arts Center parking lot.
    Many cars through there at start and close of school, with drivers talking on phones, minivan with kids, turning at that corner.
    The nearby planned round-about may also be a tough walk if there is that new sidewalk in place, too.

    And while the town is renovating the house, please consider power-washing those grimy brick pillars in front of the Arts Center!

  2. frank lazzaro
    frank lazzaro says:

    Although the town welcomes this new addition, it is important that the council members who represent “we the people” make sure that they DO contact “we the people” and not take for granted what they vote on is the will of the people which seems like the rule once elected. I for one would welcome the coffee house.

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