Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro served its first customers on Valentine’s day 2006. It was a dream realized for two brothers who had long desired to open their own business in the city they grew up in. A 23-year-old Chris McArthur and 21-year-old Michael McArthur had little in the way of real experience or resources, but had plenty of energy, enthusiasm, optimism and a complimentary set of “do whatever it takes” attitudes. After connecting with some very forward thinking investors, that dream was brought to life and was received in a way that exceeded their every expectation. The community’s outpouring of love, support and patronage over the course of the last decade has built Black & Brew into a Lakeland institution.
Today Black & Brew serves as a hub to the entire city of Lakeland at its flagship location downtown and it’s breezy cafe located at the Lakeland Public Library on Lake Morton. Friendships are forged, romances kindled, and business deals sealed in an environment that was created to facilitate connections and remind us of our humanity. Our mission continues to be to “provide a unique and uplifting experience for each of our guests…” In practical terms, that means creating an atmosphere that is warm, inviting and inclusive. A place where everyone is welcome, at any time, for any reason. This is evident in the diversity of guests that frequent our cafes. On any given day, runners congregate for breakfast and their weekly group run through downtown, a knitting group spends time sharing life and their latest creations, college students gather to study or simply enjoy a latte and the view from the patio, friends come together for dinner and dessert to celebrate a new engagement, and Lakeland’s leaders meet during a bustling lunch to share their visions or tackle challenges. So much life happens at our humble cafes.