TUPELO – Tupelo is about to get its own dose of the infamous Brew.
It’s no secret that fans have flocked to Strange Brew Coffeehouse in Starkville since its inception in 2005. With more than 16,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram, the popular spot for Mississippi State University students has its niche steeped in social media and coffee, with espresso grown worldwide and roasted in Mississippi.
With a strong online presence, famous phrases on its sign that have gone viral all over the Internet and original recipes for drinks and treats, the next stop on the Brew train is right here in Tupelo.
“My wife and I were going to dinner at South one night, just driving down Gloster,” said owner Shane Reed. “She looked over and spotted this place, so we stopped right there and got out and looked around and fell in love with it.”
The spot the Reeds fell for is located at the corner of West Jefferson and Gloster in an old gas station across the street from Milam School.
The irony of the location isn’t lost on Reed, who opened the original Strange Brew on a corner lot in an eye sore of a gas station in Starkville.
“We’re basically doing the same thing again in Tupelo,” Reed said.
While the new Brew won’t have gas as its sister store in Starkville does, Reed does love the feel of the service station, and plans to return it to its former glory.
“The first thing we did after we looked at it was go to Barnes & Noble and look at old photographs of Tupelo,” Reed said. “We love the look of the old Lion service stations so we’re running with that idea.”
Reed plans to bring the same service to customers locally that he delivers in Starkville, premium coffee and made-from-scratch treats with a few new surprises.
“You’ve got to have something when you’re that close to the train,” Reed laughed. “We’ll have a train discount. If you can see the train from the Brew and you’re stuck in traffic anyway, come in for some coffee and you’ll get a discount. Kind of like the Krispy Kreme hot light.”
Reed shared his excitement with the project, anticipated to open in January 2016. He said the city of Tupelo and MDOT could not have been more helpful.
“They’ve welcomed us with open arms for sure,” he said. “We’re always in Tupelo for food, movies and shopping as it is. We couldn’t be more happy to be a part of the community and give something back by taking back this old station and turning it into something beautiful.”
The new location will feature many amenities that the standing building on the corner lot already offers, including the large roll-up doors and canopy. Reed plans to use those to his advantage for open-air seating, as well as adding a drive-thru.
And whereas the current Strange Brew is located in Mississippi State University’s backyard, Reed promises neutral ground for Ole Miss and MSU fans alike with the new storefront.
“Only positive things for both great schools,” Reed said. “Tupelo is a house divided and we plan to acknowledge that. We’re just pumped to be there and be a part of the community.”