Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro is expanding beyond its downtown roots, opening a third location in south Lakeland that will include seating for 60 and a drive-through concept designed to minimize wait time.

The new location will open later this year at 4209 S. Florida Ave., Black & Brew owner Chris McArthur announced today. The site being leased by Black & Brew is the former home of a drive-through Krispy Kreme donut shop that closed last year.

The announcement comes as Black & Brew celebrates the 16th anniversary of the opening of its original location on Main Street across from Munn Park. Its second location — at the Lakeland Public Library on Lake Morton — opened in October 2018.

“For the better part of 16 years, our customers have been asking us to open a south Lakeland location,” McArthur said. “We were thrilled when this space became available. The existing drive-thru introduced a new and exciting opportunity that we simply couldn’t pass up.”

McArthur, 40, said he is aiming for “the best drive-through coffee experience in Lakeland” by emulating an advance-order system introduced by Chipotle at its “Chipotlanes.” Orders are placed and paid for online or via the Black & Brew app (iPhone | Android).

By eliminating the traditional drive-through bottlenecks created by the ordering and payment processes, he said, “You create a drive-through that is moving almost continuously. It is by far the fastest way to do drive-through.” 

The 60 dine-in seats will be both indoors and under a covered patio, and the restaurant will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, McArthur said. “The menu will feature a combination of customer favorites from the first two cafes, along with a handful of items unique to the new location,” according to a Black & Brew news release.

It’s too early to say exactly what will be on the menu, McArthur said.

Will customers be able to order a dozen glazed?

“Ha! I actually thought about doing donuts for half a second,” McArthur responded.

A rendering showing the view of Black & Brew from South Florida Avenue

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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