Changes coming to Big Mike’s Coffee

Changes coming to Big Mike’s Coffee

The front of the old Big Mike's Coffee. Courtesy photo

Changes coming to Big Mike’s Coffee
March 22
23:10 2016

By Tiffany Ditto

A new look and name are coming soon for Fry Street’s cherished Big Mike’s Coffee.

“This year the front of the building will be painted and the name will be changed,” owner Kim McKibben said. “The people that miss the way it used to be are starting to thin away now. We don’t typically have people sleeping in the corners anymore, which is nice.”

McKibben said she knows what the new name is going to be, but she’s not ready to disclose it. She hopes that the new name will help her build a new brand for the shop—a brand that’s all her own. She said a new logo will have Celtic overtones – something “more toward the feminine side.”

The plan is to paint over the artwork on the front of the building on Hickory Street with a terracotta-red color in hopes that it will match the original color of the brick, according to McKibben.

The building Big Mike’s sits in was originally built in 1946 as a boarding house, McKibben said. She bought the building in December 2013 from her longtime friend Mike Sutton. She and her husband were looking to buy a building in Denton for some time.

“When I got here it was dirty and dark,” McKibben said. “I didn’t expect it to come with a coffee shop, but it’s worked out well. I didn’t know anything about coffee, but most of the employees stayed and that really helped because they’re basically running the shop.”

Big Mikes barista Aaron Aguilar makes a cup of joe during a shift.

Big Mike’s barista Aaron Aguilar makes a cup of joe during a shift.

McKibben has already made changes which haven’t gone unnoticed. Barista Aaron Aguilar, who has worked at Big Mike’s for around a year, said that most people are surprised by how bright and open it feels when they walk in now.

“I’ve gotten generally good reactions from people. They’ll come in and they will just be shocked at the look of the whole place,” Aguilar said. “It seems a little more inviting, too. Overall, I think the shop is improving positively and people are noticing it.”

Aguilar added that some people aren’t happy about the changes, but those people are outnumbered.

“The only people that I’ve gotten a negative reaction from were because they liked the way the old way place felt,” Aguilar said. “They used words like ‘dinginess’ and ‘grunginess,’ that seem more like a negative.”

Geography senior Caitlin Bradford likes the new look.

“I think it really helps people realize that this is a really great coffee shop,” Bradford said. “I like that they’re starting to create their own syrups and make things in house. I think it’s really cool. It’s kinda what Denton is all about.”

McKibben hopes to keep making changes to the coffee shop in an effort to bring more business. Some of the changes she has made include a new computerized cash register, creating a community room in the back and making the syrups in house.

“I just really hope we can keep it cleaner, and keep stuff in better repair,” McKibben said. “I want this to continue to be a cutting-edge coffee shop. This is my retirement. This is where it’s going to be.”

Mayborn student Samantha Morrow contributed to this story.

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