By Patricia Hendler, Community Redevelopment Agency, City of Lakeland
Walk into Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro any day and you will find people enjoying the food and drink as well as the ambiance. It doesn't matter if it is 7 a.m. on a weekday, 9 p.m. on a Friday evening or Sunday at 2 p.m., there will be people working on laptops, socializing, having a business meeting, a study date, or enjoying breakfast, lunch, or dinner along with specialty coffees. Black & Brew is a warm and welcoming space – a perfect destination for Lakelanders. It is one of the reasons why Downtown is drawing visitors from such a large geographic area. Chris McArthur is the owner/manager/founder, along with his brother Michael. Their goal is to provide unique and delicious products expertly crafted from high quality, fresh ingredients while creating an atmosphere that is welcoming and warm. By all accounts from those sitting at the tables inside and out, they have succeeded.
Walk inside past the outdoor covered patio area on Main Street across from Munn Park, and you will find a space that could easily be in Manhattan, Portland, Chicago, or Seattle. Chris worked for a year transforming the gutted interior into the beautiful eatery you see now. The custom display cabinets, exposed brick, warm colors, and panoramic photo of Downtown Lakeland are comfortable and inviting. The food and drink are always fresh, and daily specials are communicated to customers via Facebook, e-mail, and the blackboard over the counter which always sports some clever artwork particular to the season. Black & Brew also caters breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other events.
In the restaurant, guests are greeted by a well-trained staff that makes it clear the company philosophy is to make the customer happy. Most of the staff members are longtime employees who work as a team. To encourage this attitude, Chris and his staff participate in hands-on service projects at least twice per year. Non-profits that have benefitted from this policy include Parker Street Ministries, Elderpoint Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, and Shalom Center. Throughout the last eight years, Chris has paid attention to the details and the larger picture of what he wanted to bring to his hometown Main Street location. Black & Brew is thriving as a result, and Lakeland is thankful for a place that one customer likened to receiving “a warm hug from an old friend.”
Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro
Mr. Chris McArthur
205 E Main St
Lakeland, FL 33801