Cups & Mugs found its way into the hearts of many students and families in the Rome area after opening in January of last year. It offered a fun environment on Broad Street for its customers to study, relax, be entertained or grab a cup of coffee on their way to work.
After what seemed to be a successful year, Cups & Mugs announced they would serve their last cup of coffee on Oct. 8, 2011. Customers were heart broken.
“I literally cried three times the last time I was leaving,” said Ally Blackwell, senior middle grades education major. “I felt like my home was being ripped away from me.”
Although some people thought Cups & Mugs was a thing of the past, there is good news in the heartache: Cups & Mugs is coming back! The new shop will not be on Broad St. but instead in Redmond Hospital. A corner has been reserved for the coffee shop right inside the main entrance. It may not look the same as the shop on Broad.
Cups & Mugs offered something that larger corporations couldn’t — community.
Tori Nelson, junior English major and an employee of Cups & Mugs, said, “I was devastated because Rome was losing such a great place for community.”
This coffee shop was dedicated to bringing people together.
“After standing outside the door for an hour after it closed I was still depressed,” said Tyler Thomas, junior middle grades education major.
Small town entertainment could be found on the stage at Cups & Mugs.
Singer and songwriter Katrina Barclay had several concerts at Cups & Mugs and had similar sentiments.
“When I found out through the grapevine that they were closing, I was mostly disappointed to see that such a great venue and coffeehouse was going away.”
What made Cups & Mugs so special to so many people? Owner Allison Cox said it was because people could tell a difference when they walked through the door. There was nothing “corporate” about it. It had a local shop feeling because you saw friendly faces behind the bar, people you knew or you got to know, and “if you didn’t call them friends before, you could call them friends by the end of the day.”
Cox guarantees that you can expect the same service and experience.
“It’s going to be a little different because it’s in a hospital, but you can expect that same spirit that we had of wanting people to feel at home when they come in the door,” said Cox. “We are going for that all the way here too, especially because it’s in a hospital. We want to bring this certain degree of comfort to people who are in the hospital, and even to those who venture in from the outside—come in and you’ll still get that great welcome.”
Cox says customers will still have a comfortable place to sit and enjoy coffee and will still get the same great product and great service.
“Obviously it’s going to look really different, but I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to come here and enjoy a cup of coffee, even if it is in a hospital.”
Cox wanted to thank all of the Shorter students who have supported Cups & Mugs when things were going well and even when they knew they were closing. She wasn’t necessarily looking for a new home for Cups & Mugs, but Redmond approached her and asked if she was willing to open the shop in the hospital. Cox admits that this was not the original dream for Cups & Mugs, but believes that it is a new dream and is God’s way of providing for them. She believes this will be a way of getting great business and it still offers them a way to make the kind of coffee that they want Rome to enjoy. Good news to Cups & Mugs fans: it is here to stay.