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For the second time this summer, downtown Raleigh YMCA loses a coffee shop

BREW Coffee Bar has closed its coffee counter at the Poyner YMCA on Fayetteville Street.
BREW Coffee Bar has closed its coffee counter at the Poyner YMCA on Fayetteville Street. jdjackson@newsobserver.com

After a month an a half, BREW Coffee Bar has pulled the plug on its downtown Raleigh cafe.

The craft coffee shop opened in early July, taking over the lobby space of the downtown Raleigh Poyner YMCA. BREW announced the closing Wednesday on its Instagram page, saying the response from downtown coffee drinkers was not what the company expected.

“It hasn’t been what we imagined it would be and when we first started conversations we knew it would be a gamble for us,” read the post. “The location was a bit out of the normal neighborhood for us, but we had hoped it was something we could grow into. Unfortunately it didn’t work out the way we had envisioned.”

BREW currently has two locations, with two more on the way. The company, owned by husband and wife Mike and Cindy Sholar, has shops in Seaboard Station and downtown Cary. New cafes at Gateway Plaza and McNeill Pointe are also in the works.

BREW was the second coffee shop to give the YMCA space a try, following Benelux giving it an initial go before closing this summer. On Instagram, BREW said the YMCA spot simply wasn’t attracting enough customers.

“Ultimately it came down to daily sales and we just don’t have enough to keep staff paid, the lease paid, and our quality up,” the post read. “We are thankful for those of you that made the YMCA your daily stop and hope that you will find your way to one of our other locations soon.”

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