Brew, the brainchild of Eric Metzger, is a café and meeting space that welcomes networkers, clubs and other groups to connect.
“It all started because I needed a bigger office for my business, WeHoneyDo.com,” explains the local man. “I belong to the Masons and they own a building in downtown Bothell that had some space available. But, in order to be there, you had to be in retail, which I’m not. Meanwhile, I had been looking at building a coffee bar for my daughter to run, as she was a barista for five years and wanted to go out on her own. The whole thing clicked into place when I realized that I could have the retail component if I opened a café out front, and then put my office in the back room. I would be killing two birds with one stone.”
At 1,500 square feet, the space was still too big, so Metzger opted to use the middle area between the café and his office as a meeting room and open it to local groups.
“Networking has proved to be very beneficial to me in growing WeHoneyDo.com,” adds the local man. “I have gone to various networking sessions over the years to get the word out about my business and possibly pick up some referrals along the way. That and social media have worked well for me.”
The meeting room is free for groups to reserve, provided members purchase something from the café during their session.
Currently, Metzger has six different groups that use the space on a weekly or monthly basis and the requests are continually coming in as word-of-mouth spreads.
“We’re posting on Facebook and meeting.com,” comments Metzger, “and we’re getting a good response.” He adds, “Networkers always need space. Maybe a group starts with just five to eight people and they meet at a restaurant, but it’s noisy and soon becomes obvious that that if the group grows, they can’t get together at a restaurant anymore. And reserving spaces can be costly because there’s usually a minimum required.”
Metzger notes that at Brew, the meeting room can accommodate up to 50.
Soon, there will be a movable divider available to separate the area down the middle, allowing two groups to use the space at the same time.
“The demand is here,” he adds. “The minute I opened my doors, I had three groups wanting to use the space. People are very excited about it. And the location, being on Main Street, between 522 and Bothell-Everett Highway, is ideal.”
As for the café, Metzger’s daughter, Carissa, along with his wife, Regina, is working to build up a local customer base.
In addition to the usual coffee drinks (the café uses Urban City Coffee) and blended beverages, Brew also offers a variety of breakfast sandwiches and assorted pastries, as well as several lunch items.
“We are doing specialty sandwiches, salads, soups and personal pizzas,” says Carissa. “Joan Autre, a gourmet Italian chef, is in charge of the food.” She adds, “And we sell beer and wine, too, mostly local from Washington state, which we hope will attract a happy hour crowd.”
According to Metzger, everyone who has come in to Brew since it opened in early September, loves the place and repeat customers are becoming easy to spot.
“I think they like the ambiance of the place,” he comments. “It has character and has that old town Main Street feel to it, which is what we were after when we started remodeling the space. We basically gutted it completely, even all the electrical, and then exposed all the brick walls that had sadly been covered up for many years. That took a month of hard work.”
The result is a cozy, inviting space, with comfortable seating, local artwork and a bright red door that serves as a welcoming beacon.
“We want to make this a true gathering spot, where people can meet, connect and even hang out to watch sports together,” says Metzger. “And, of course, get something good to eat, grab a beer or have a glass of wine or cup of coffee in the process.”