Finally, the time has come for Arabica to re-open its doors in the new location. Many have walked by and seen the renovations of the new storefront, but not many have been able to step inside yet. This Friday at 5:30 pm Arabica will open the doors to the public for the first time in several months.
On Monday, we sat down with the owner, Frank Suponcic, to learn about Arabica and what is in store for the new location. First, we asked Frank to give us a little back story into the history of Arabica. The coffee shop we have all come to know and love is a franchise that was started back in 1976 with the intention to become today’s Starbuck’s. Although Frank was unsure of the exact number of locations, he estimated it to be 40-50 in total in the franchise’s peak. The location in downtown Willoughby was established in 1996 after Mayor David Anderson recruited them to our historic downtown. The first ten years saw several different owners until Frank purchased the business in October 2006. Over the 20 year’s Arabica has been in business, it has cemented itself with the likes of Kleifeld’s and Burger’s & Beer, as an iconic symbol in the downtown district. Frank declared, “Success of a coffee shop is driven by location; think Coventry, Chagrin Falls, Little Italy, Downtown Willoughby.”
Frank and his staff are embracing the new location. He feels most cities would give anything to have a downtown location like DTW, and some are even trying to develop them. “Downtown Willoughby is not created. This is authentic. The City of Willoughby has encouraged and assisted the downtown businesses and events in an effort to create exposure for downtown Willoughby,” explained Frank.
On a parting note, Suponcic expressed, “Arabica is going to bring what it has brought for the last 20 years: a community gathering location, character, and uniqueness of food offerings.” We look forward to the grand opening Friday evening. Get there early as lines are expected.
Additional links to stories from the News-Herald and Cleveland.com.