For Jonnie Beans, a cafe in the Miller-Armstrong Center in Waseca, new management means new drinks, specials and events.

As of a few weeks ago, Maurela Miller was named front of house manager at Jonnie Beans. A second general manager was also added to oversee the group of three restaurants that operate in the Miller-Armstrong Center, which includes Jonnie Beans, Club 57 and Starfire Grill.

“We’re looking more to rebuild than rebrand,” Miller explained. “We’ve had this foundation in how we’ve been doing things for years, the same-old, same-old, and we just wanted to get new ideas in here.”

For Jonnie Beans, this means coming out with new coffee drinks and specials every week to attract new and different kinds of guests. The cafe is planning to post on social media every week about new menu items and upcoming events, which she says is important for business.

“A lot of people don’t know we’re down here,” she explained. In particular, she said, Jonnie Beans is looking for ways to attract younger residents in Waseca.

As for events, while nothing is set in stone yet, Miller has lots of ideas, including a whole day of ice coffee “flights,” which would build off the model that breweries have popularized.

Miller has thought about opening the cafe at night, when they could host open mic nights, or “coffee parties.” Having studied addiction counseling in school, she’s cognizant of a peculiar societal problem for non-drinkers: there are few nighttime public venues not centered on alcohol.

“It’s something I’d like to see more of in the town,” she said.

Reach Reporter Julian Hast at 507-333-3133. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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