Mesquite, TX - October 4, 2019 - Mesquite’s newest coffee shop brings beverages, entertainment and a local feel. Inspired by the majesty of national parks, Bear Cave Coffee is a unique brand aimed at embracing community in Downtown Mesquite.
The concept for a local coffee shop came as City of Mesquite began discussions of downtown revitalization in 2018. When Sean Belknap learned of the City’s plans to focus on downtown, he shared his vision for a local coffee shop with Beverly Abell, the City’s downtown development manager. Beverly connected Sean with Brad Brandt, pastor of The Gathering at Corner Theatre church located downtown. The Gathering sought ways to better use its front lobby, so Brad and Sean decided to use the area as a startup space for the coffee shop. The partnership began just as Downtown Mesquite achieved its designation as a Texas Main Street community.
“This business and how it evolved is textbook Main Street Program,” said Beverly. “They came to us with a great concept, great marketing materials and a good team. They are exactly the kind of business every downtown seeks: locally owned, unique branding, great people.”
Bear Cave Coffee opened as a popup in fall 2018, and its quick success led to expansion into day and evening hours, Wednesday through Sunday. The partnership between the church and coffee shop was recognized at the state level, with The Gathering at Corner Theatre named a finalist for an Economic Game Changer Award by the Texas Downtown Association.
Bear Cave’s success is no accident. Sean and his wife, Hillary, prepared for their popup launch by participating in business counseling through City of Mesquite and Eastfield College. The Belknaps continue regular business counseling today.
“We just want to reach out to the community,” said Sean. “Our goal is to stay here and be a local coffee shop in Mesquite.”
The shop offers entertainment such as trivia nights and open mic nights. Sunday game nights were a success this summer, but now that school is back in session, patrons can enjoy a hot or cold beverage during Sunday study nights. True to its indie roots, the shop highlights work from local artists with revolving exhibits in the main lobby. These local artists regularly contribute custom design work for Bear Cave’s “merch” including T-shirts, tumblers and stickers.
Keep up with Bear Cave Coffee’s drink specials and events by following the shop on Facebook, on Instagram and at bearcavecoffee.com.