Another coffee shop will try at New Lenox Library
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com February 19, 2014 8:04PM
A sign at the New Lenox Public Library in December lets patrons know that the Bookworm Cafe is closed. | File photo
Updated: March 21, 2014 3:44PM
A new coffee shop will open in the New Lenox Public Library in a couple of months, and library officials hope this fifth vendor in 12 years will brew success.
The library board approved a one-year contract with Debbie and Mark Vejvoda, of Manhattan, to operate Just 4 U Cafe, which will be open Mondays through Saturdays.
A sour economy and low traffic have been cited as the main reasons that Novel Brew, Windy City Espresso, Book and Bean Cafe and the Bookworm Cafe vacated the space over the years at the library’s main entrance on Veterans Parkway.
“We felt if they (the Vejvodas) were willing to try it, we were willing,” board president Lou Broccolo said.
Just 4 U Cafe will open in late April or early May and will serve hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and other treats from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, according to library director Kate Hall.
“The space was designed as a coffee shop, and we want to try to keep it that way,” she said. “Maybe this will be different than the other four. We’ll see what happens.”
The board debated whether to keep the area for a coffee shop, given the failure of the other shops. Library surveys have indicated that patrons want a coffee shop but don’t always support it. The board considered installing vending machines in that space.
Broccolo is hopeful Just 4 You Cafe can succeed, saying the owners plan to do things a bit differently, advertise more and offer coupons, he said.
“There is no other coffee shop at this end of town,” he said. “Hopefully, this will go. It’s a service to patrons.”