Luna Caffe on Castle Street has expanded shortly after celebrating its second year anniversary.
The coffee shop recently opened an outdoor patio behind the main storefront, allowing patrons to enjoy their lattes and other specialty drinks al fresco when the weather is nice.
“We’ve been planning this for a while, we were just waiting to get some funds to do it,” said Wil Chacon, who owns the business with his wife, Nina Hayhurst-Chacon. “We’re glad we were finally able to get it done.”
According to Chacon, they had plans to open it a little bit sooner, but Mother Nature got in the way.
“We kind of started it right before Hurricane Joaquin came, then we had to stop,” Chacon said, adding that it only took a couple of weeks to finish everything once the weather cleared up.
The new outdoor space measures 18 by 20 feet and features tables, chairs and benches that can seat about 20-25 people. While the landscape is currently a simple gravel floor with some large planters, Chacon said they are planning to add some more flowers and wall decorations come springtime. The space is also set up for some sail shades, which will be useful in the warmer months when the sun is at its brightest.
A grand opening was held last weekend for the space, and though the patio was closed for the first couple of days this week due to cold temperatures, Chacon said the response so far has been very positive.
“People love it,” said Chacon. “We’ve gotten a lot of compliments so far.”
In addition to creating more space for caffeine aficionados, Luna Caffe has also just put out their seasonal drink menu. Patrons can now sip on a pumpkin spice latte or a hot apple cider while they enjoy the winter sun.
Chacon, who is a musician, said he started Luna Caffe with no knowledge of the coffee business.
“I was looking for a place where I could have a drum studio for my students,” said Chacon, who keeps drum sets in a back storage area. “We came across this space and decided to start a coffee shop up front, not thinking it would do so well.”
“I had no prior experience with coffee except that I liked to drink it,” Chacon added. “I kind of discovered that I knew nothing about it.”
Despite going into the business blindly, Chacon quickly learned about one of the world’s most popular drinks. In addition to to offering espresso, lattes, pour overs and other standard coffees, Luna Caffe has started experimenting with Japanese-style ice coffee, where the beverage is brewed hot directly over ice.
“It’s supposed to preserve the flavors and lessen the acidity,” said Chacon of the technique. “I think we’re the only place in town that’s doing it.”
This winter Chacon will also be offering classes on making pour over coffee as well as holding cuppings, which are “just like wine tastings except that it will be coffee.”
While Chacon has yet to set dates for these events, he said that those interested can check Luna Caffe’s social media sites for the latest updates.