DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Inside Luna Coffee‘s De Pere location, the sound of the coffee roaster has been the main source of noise since last March.
“We roast here, so that’s a big part of our business,” Co-Owner Mark Patel said. “It was kind of a way for us to bridge that gap and make it into this new era of our business.”
In years past, the sound of the roaster was drowned out by the crowds chatting over cups of coffee.
“When this place is running well, it’s really bustling and there’s a lot of people,” Patel said, “and that just wasn’t going to be viable last year.”
The owners of Luna decided to take advantage of the shut down and change things up.
“It was a good opportunity for us to do some improvements,” Patel said. “This is how envisioned this place to be.”
They hope to complete the renovations and reopen next month.
In the meantime, Luna’s Bellevue location has taken the plunge, reopening to in-person dining on April 12th.
The Bellevue café also closed in March 2020 when the Safer at Home order was issued, but was able to start serving coffee again in June, after installing a pickup window to the building’s facade.
“It surpassed all of our expectations,” Luna Bellevue Manager Karli Norton said. “We had lines through the parking lot of customers who just wanted to support us, and we built a good following through that little window.”
When the De Pere location opens, it’ll have a takeout window like the one in Bellevue, just in case.
“We’ve given ourselves more flexibility coming back,” Patel said. “So I’m not sure if it’s ever going to be exactly like it used to be, but I think we will bring back a lot of that same vibe and feeling.”
That vibe will include some of the same staff.
“We have been able to hire back a good portion of the people that were working for us last year,” Patel said. “Unfortunately, the break was so long some moved on to different jobs.”
They’re looking to hire a few more people before renovations are complete and the De Pere Café joins Bellevue and opens back up to the public.
“To see my shelves stocked, to see people sitting in a corner reading a book, it just made me very happy to have them back in here,” Norton said.