Sandi Luck started Bully Brew in 2010, and now with five locations, she has something new brewing in Grand Forks.
Luck is teaming up with Kathryn Gunderson, of Half Brothers Brewery, to turn Luck’s Bully Brew location on South Washington Street into The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse.
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“The South Washington location is kind of the perfect spot,” Luck said. “It’s a beautiful location. We used to have the roaster in here, the machine that we roast all the coffee beans in for Bully Brew.”
Business grew during COVID-19, so Luck moved the roaster into a manufacturing warehouse off 32nd Avenue to make room for more patrons.
“Now we can roast beans, and it’s not a retail area,” Luck said. “Only our customers that are wholesale can come in to pick up their mass amounts of coffee beans.
Luck decided the best time to expand her horizons and try something new with her business model would be now that COVID-19 is on the downturn. With a large amount of new space in the South Washington Street location, she decided it would be the perfect location for a new business venture.
The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse will have 10 lines – four for Half Brothers beer, and the other six will be for specialty tap beer from other locations, such as Junkyard Brewery, Drastic Measures, Revelations and other breweries that are popular in the region, but not quite as accessible in the Grand Forks market.
“It just seems very fitting to have a location where we can invite friends, have community events and serve both coffee and beer,” Luck said.
Luck said the idea came about from working with Gunderson and her husband, Chad, in prior business dealings. Their relationship blossomed from there, and now they have combined their efforts for this coffee shop-taphouse hybrid, which is the first of its kind in Grand Forks.
“This is a brand new adventure,” Luck said. “We’re just dreaming the dream. There’s a few (coffee shop-taphouse hybrids) in Fargo. In Minneapolis and the east coast there’s many of them. So, it’s not new in many areas, but here it will be.”
Luck isn’t sure exactly when The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse’s grand opening will be. She said she is still waiting on city licensing, but she is hoping for the opening to be June 17 or June 18. The original Bully Brew drive-thru is still open and will be through the process.
As for the menu, Luck said this experiment will not result in the loss of Bully Brew coffee products at the location that customers have come to enjoy over the past 11 years. However, it is being reworked from scratch for the grand opening.
Along with Bully Brew’s original coffee, The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse will also sell retail coffee beans, tap beer Half Brothers, off-sale beer and food, which consists of bakery items and Real Good Cookies – another Bully Brew menu favorite made in Grand Forks.
“We’re trying really hard to make it a brand new menu,” Luck said. “The Bully Brew coffee will have all the same blends. We might create a few new specialty drinks, but we’ll have the basics.”
Luck was close-lipped on whether there are plans to convert any other locations or build new franchises of The Other Half Coffee & Taphouse.
“We’ll start with this one,” Luck said. “We’ll see how successful this is. I feel like it could be something that could be a fun new adventure, but at the same time, we’ll start with one.”