It's a bar. It's a restaurant. No, it's Kudu, and it just happens to be a coffee shop under new ownership.
John Saunders, Kudu's original owner, had planned to sell the coffee shop to friend and open mic night regular Winter Fox, but those plans fell through due to undisclosed financial reasons. So, Grae Rambo stepped in and closed the deal on Fri., Jan. 29. While Rambo now owns Kudu, brothers Josh and Jason Bell will manage and run shop.
"This is really a dream come true," says Josh. The brothers have been good friends with Grae for years, and according to Josh, "trust each other" enough to embark on such a business adventure. The Bells understand that locals have grown to like Kudu the way it is.
"We are just testing the waters for now to see what we can improve or change and how customers react before making anything definite," says Josh.
Some changes Kudu customers may see include the introduction of craft beers and wine, later weekend hours, some minor renovations, and more showcasing of local art, whether through performance or display.
But one thing's for sure, according to Josh, "Kudu is not becoming a bar of any kind. We just want to create a cool place to have a beer without having to be in a bar scene."
The downtown coffee shop will also move away from its African style. The theme fit when Kudu was owned by African enthusiast, Saunders, who recently returned to Africa, but with its new owner and managers hailing from the Carolinas, the whole African thing just doesn't follow. Open mic night will still be a weekly happening at Kudu, and although soup may no longer be on the menu, patrons will have more beverage options and be able to nosh on some yummy baked goods and other savory treats as well.
"Jason and I want to stay here for while," says Josh, "and we're excited to become friends with and a part of the local community."