February 28, 2006

Lend Me Some Shugga, I Am Your Neighbor!

Word on the street is that Shugga's, the charming little coffee café tucked into the charming little Shenandoah/Compton biz district, is on the ropes and in need of a quick business infusion if it's to keep bringing caffeine to the masses. Now, Miss Cherry herself will admit it's been a good lil' while since her last drop-in, but as she recalls, there are excellent baked goods, tasty salads and sandwiches and, the piece de resistance, Kaldi's brew. I'll be making time to stop by in the next weeks.

Posted by Miss Cherry at 11:38 AM | Eat/Drink

Why aren't the locals in that 'hood going there? A coffeehouse can't thrive without walk-in business from the neighborhood. I went there a few times when I lived in Fox Park, and it never was as crowded as it should be. There is great population density there -- enough to support Shugga's!

Are people bypassing it because they jump in the car and head elsewhere for coffee?

After the recent demise of Thurman Community Cafe, also located in a densely-populated southside neighborhood, perhaps we need to study why small neighborhood coffeeshops in the city are failing. Perhaps the allure of driving to a chain shop or to Hartford is great. Perhaps residents of these neighborhoods don't spend much time exploring the businesses inside their own neighborhoods.

Posted by: Michael Allen at February 28, 2006 12:40 PM

I live just around the corner from Shugga's, and went there frequently when it was new. But they soon started cutting back their hours, eliminated evenings, neglected putting out tables in fine weather, until they were no longer a place I could go to when the mood struck. a coffee house that isnt available when you want it is pretty useless.
I once witnessed them turning away a customer because she wanted to order lunch fifteen minutes before they wanted to serve. a place in need of customers ought to be able to figure out how to keep them.
from my perspective, it is being run just on the owner's terms, with no regard for customers.

Posted by: jbmoore at March 1, 2006 01:37 PM

They're closing is my fault.

I play a game called Go and have a club that meets every Sunday at a coffeehouse. Our presence has been the death knoll for everyplace we've been.

We originally played at Aesop's coffee, which closed (although there was a lot of drama among the owners, and it's reopened as a different cafe). We moved from there to People's Coffee, which closed. We stayed on at the Commonspace until they closed their doors. Then we moved to Rhythm and Brews, which closed. Up until last week we met at the Grind, which as of today is closed (temporarily).

Earlier this week I was looking at other coffeehouses to play at, and I thought Shugga's might work. Apparently just thinking about them caused their business to fail.

I'm sorry about that.

Posted by: cyr at March 1, 2006 11:42 PM

Aw man..."They're"...sorry about that too.

Posted by: cyr at March 1, 2006 11:44 PM

Between the move from Aesop's to People's coffee the Go Club played at Caffeined Coffee which was over near Manchester and McCausland until it closed down.

Posted by: kyle at March 1, 2006 11:50 PM

Wow! Café-keepers of St. Louis, beware: should a group of gamers come your way, bearing Go boards, flip that sign and turn out the lights! Soon, people might have your pictures up next to the list of bad-check writers...

Posted by: miss cherry at March 2, 2006 11:30 AM

Or...they'll pay us money to hang out at their competitors' locations.

It was suggested the other day that we play at the South Grand McDonalds.

Posted by: cyr at March 2, 2006 12:25 PM

As a weekly customer holding planning meetings for the 2006 Grand South Grand house tour (April 22&23, thank you very much), it's news to me that they are struggling for biz. I just enjoyed a wonderful po-boy sandwich there but was too full to enjoy the bread pudding with whiskey sauce! But I'm sure any thriving coffeeshop would appreciate a plug from Miss Cherry!

Posted by: Cara at March 2, 2006 03:17 PM

I was there today, and business seemed to be doing quite well. All the tables were full at lunchtime. They don't seem to be "on the ropes," and made it quite clear they have no plans to close.

I would encourage anyone who hasn't been there to stop on by. Although I live closer to other neighborhood coffee shops in South City, Shuggah's is one of my all time favorite coffee shops! I love the atmosphere, the food and drinks are excellent, the service is quite good, and the owner and staff are very friendly.

Posted by: Suz at March 2, 2006 03:43 PM

Don't know what rumor mill has been spreading bad info but as a regular customer at Shugga's things couldn't be better! All businesses work to find their market niche and Shugga's has done just that. We live in the neighborhood and love having Shugga's just down the street. If you haven't had the biscuits and gravy, you better get there early on a Saturday or Sunday morning. It is the owners Mom's recipe and doesn't last long! And the coffee,what can I say, it is the best and how covenient to have a latte waiting for me! The food is great, service is good, and always smiles from the staff. Check out the website...

Posted by: Linda at March 4, 2006 04:54 PM