Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – Appearances from the Plaza to the contrary, there is still a convivial place there to hold your meeting or interview while savoring a delectable coffee and pastry.
Café Brio isn’t just open during its expansion project, it has a whole new, if temporary, seating area just south of its main patio.
Recent fundraising by sale of more than 200 shares was massively successful, with some $606,500 garnered. Shareholders, mostly local, are now eligible for discounts, classes, baking workshops and various special events. Founder/CEO Serge Scherbatskoy said some were well-heeled investors, including one who rolled up in a Tesla and dropped a check for $15,000 on the spot. Others were locals who had to save up to invest in a vital local institution.
The funding is making possible a 372-square-foot expansion of the main dining area, increasing seating. A new door will be added, allowing patrons to exit without congesting the existing entrance. Previously planned upstairs dining has been ruled infeasible.
The café’s crammed kitchen will see some new equipment too, speeding customer service. Café Brio will have to close for one week in late March or early April, after which it will reopen. “I like the community aspect of it,” said Investment Manager Alex Ozaki McNeill.