After 38 years of “wonderful” but “hard work,” the Downtown Coffee Shop in Bellevue closed on Oct. 1, owner Christine Kouba said.
It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of customers, Kouba said. Business was booming, she said. Bellevue was excellent for them, even in the midst of COVID-19.
“Bellevue has been so warm and so receptive,” Kouba said.
Kouba and his staff knew all of their names and orders, as well as details of their lives. They made it a point to care about their customers, she said, and people took notice. It is these incredible customers that Kouba will miss the most.
“What a joy it was to serve them and cook for them and to have them as friends in my life,” Kouba said.
She will also miss working with exceptional employees. Kouba said she really enjoys spending every day at the cafe.
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“I got up before my alarm clock every day,” Kouba said. “I was happy to go to work every day, that’s for sure.”
Experiencing health issues, Kouba said it was time to shut down. Then the right people came to replace the staple of Olde Towne.
Light House opens second location
The Light House Olde Towne Bellevue takes over the Downtown Coffee Shop spot after Kouba sells the business to them.
She said she felt they were going to do great things.
This cafe is an extension of the Light House Glenwood in Iowa.
Light House held a soft opening for friends and family on October 12 and officially opened on Thursday, owner Tracey Colgrove said. A grand opening is planned after a renovation in November, for which the shop will be closed for a few days.
Window coverings will be opened to illuminate the space. New tables will fill the room.
Colgrove said the store is opting for a rustic look with barn wood and corrugated iron due to the new Frontier District revitalization effort, which includes luxury apartments being built across the street on the site. of the old town hall complex. New shops, including possibly a grocery store, are planned.
With all the excitement about downtown, Colgrove said Bellevue was a place for expansion.
“We want to be part of celebrating the old Bellevue and the new Bellevue,” Colgrove said.
Colgrove said he likes that Olde Towne feels like a small town because the people are so nice to each other. He wants to be part of the Bellevue community by participating in trunks or treats and Christmas celebrations.
He said he also chose Bellevue because there was a great need for the Light House ministry, as the town has the highest poverty rate in Sarpy County. The ministry is focused on supporting people no matter where they are on their faith journey, Colgrove said.
“It’s not our job to sit there and push religion on people,” Colgrove said. “We want to love people where they are.”
He said they plan to improve the community by partnering with nonprofits like Lift Up Sarpy County and donating food to people in need. A bread program, in partnership with Hy-Vee, will allow Light House to distribute bread to those in need.
He hopes Light House can serve as a non-judgmental gathering space for people to come together and feel like they belong.
“It’s a place where everyone comes,” Colgrove said.
To facilitate this community, Colgrove intends to eventually hold Bible studies, as it does in Glenwood. He can also have musicians play.
Colgrove said Light House focuses on serving both great coffee and great food, using as much local produce as possible.
The cafe and cafe have a small but growing menu, Colgrove said. Soon it will be even bigger than Glenwood.
He hopes the gourmet coffee, roasted in St. Joseph, Missouri, will help attract young customers. They will also offer specialty flavors.
The lighter and medium roasts are Ethiopian and Guatemalan, and he said they get a darker roast that will likely be Belize. They will also add an espresso machine and blended iced coffee drinks.
As for food, specials will be rotated daily. They will include Mexican food, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and creative ideas on Thursdays.
“You’re not going to find this day to be exactly the same as the next,” Colgrove said.
Gluten-free cinnamon rolls and veggie scrambled omelettes offer options for people with dietary restrictions. Desserts will include ice cream in the future, as well as coffee macaroons.
Those interested in trying Light House can have breakfast and lunch. It is open 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 6 a.m. to noon on Saturday. It is located at 119 W Mission Ave.