A Kennewick spot where you once could relax sipping a hot latte will soon be a place to go for live music and a cold IPA.
Barracuda Coffee celebrates the first anniversary of its Kennewick location this weekend with the addition of craft brews and, soon, entertainment and extended evening hours.
Richland’s Barracuda Coffee opened its second store one year ago at 320 N. Kellogg St., off Clearwater Avenue near Vista Field. It will mark the day with giveaways and $1 deals on 12-ounce drinks all day.
Now in its second year, Barracuda is expanding its Kennewick business this week to include craft brews. The move transforms the coffee shop into a destination for any part of the day. It secured a liquor license this week and expects to begin serving craft brews this weekend.
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Other innovations include a coffee roaster to custom roast its beans. Manager Gage Sohler aims to open up the coffee shop to evening events, including live performances and social gatherings.
Sohler opened the store in 2016 with a broad mandate from owners Michelle and Jake Shupe: Make it your own.
Sohler said he was looking for a way to extend the Barracuda brand beyond its normal 6 p.m. cut-off.
Most people, Sohler included, aren’t looking for coffee later in the day. ‘It’s tough to drink coffee when you’re about to go to bed,” he said.
The shop is adding a rotating list of five regional craft brews, as well as cider to its offerings. He plans to schedule special events, music and other gatherings to make better use of the shop, which can seat 20 to 30 people.
He’d also like to host a regional “throw down,” or latte competition for local baristas.
Sohler is a Richland High School graduate who attended Central Washington University and Washington State University. He entered the coffee world by way of the pizza one.
He managed the Papa John’s franchise next door to Barracuda’s Richland shop, 2171 Van Giesen St. A regular at Barracuda, he saw an opportunity to join a different type of business and be part of a small but growing company.
Barracuda Coffee was founded by Bill Pogue, who named it for the vehicle he sold to finance his first espresso machine.
The Shupes bought the business in 2009 and developed a devoted following on Van Giesen before branching into Kennewick. Sohler said the Kennewick shop caters to a mostly professional customer base and offers discounts to educators, college students and pastors.
Business hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
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