New life brewing at Brew Ha Ha coffee shop

The Brew Ha Ha coffee shop, which closed in 2014, is set to reopen under new ownership on Aug. 31. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Baristas will once again serve steaming gourmet coffee, specialty drinks and breakfast sandwiches from the drive-through window of Brew Ha Ha when it reopens next weekend.

Former owner Teresa M. Macaluso, who ran it with her sister Karen E. Mikos for 13 years, closed the shop in 2014, but longtime family friend Corey Walker decided to brew new life into the business.

“I always had a passion for food and good-quality food,” Mr. Walker said. “Whenever I’m on a trip anywhere, I’m always on the hunt for a good bagel or breakfast sandwich.”

Brew Ha Ha, at 468 Coffeen St., will reopen its doors to the public on Aug. 31, although Mr. Walker plans to host a soft opening Aug. 28 for family, friends, military, police officers, firemen and other men and women in uniform.

Coffee lovers will be able to order cups of hot Black Rifle Coffee Company-brand java, which is 100 percent Arabica; cappuccinos, macchiatos, lattes, Italian sodas and beloved specialty coffees from years past including the Morning Riser and Monkey Swinging.

Mr. Walker, who also works as store manager at a Rite Aid in Pulaski, said he concocted some new offerings including his London Reese’s Cup, an espresso shot that tastes like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and bagels shipped from two prominent New York City companies: New Yorker Bagels and A&S Bagels Inc. The menu also features breakfast sandwiches with applewood smoked bacon, sausage from Oswego and specialty cheeses like Gouda.

While Mr. Walker, Chaumont, has new ideas for Brew Ha Ha, he said he wants to preserve the reputation that garnered its many customers over the years.

“It’s known for the quality of people as much as it’s known for the quality of coffee,” he said. “I don’t want to let anyone down who comes through that drive-through.”

Managing the coffee shop became too much work for former city councilwoman Mrs. Macaluso, she said, prompting her to close it to spend more time with family and on city business. Watching Corey prepare to reopen the shop she managed for more than a decade has brought her joy, she said, adding that she was ready to help him prepare when he needed it.

“I’ve known him for a very long time and he’s very motivated and hardworking,” she said. “I’m glad to see someone wants to carry on what I started.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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