By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series called the 25 Days of Downtown Christmas that highlights the fantastic selection of businesses in downtown Garden City.
More than two months after nearly doubling its space, Patrick Dugan’s Coffee House continues to shine as a downtown destination for great coffee and a warm atmosphere.
Manager Cassie Gonzales said the year-long expansion project, which was unveiled in early October, has been well worth it and is something she would go through again in a heartbeat.
“What we see the most here behind the bar is that it doesn’t feel busy anymore, even though we are extremely busy. It just doesn’t feel that way because it’s more spread out, which is great. Our customers love it. It’s been awesome,” she said.
The coffee shop, located at 301 N. Main St., expanded into an area formerly the site of the Paraclete Group computer services. Doug Harder and Pat Howard opened Paraclete Computer Services in 2001, followed by Patrick Dugan’s on Memorial Day weekend in 2008.
The expansion more than doubled its available seating, going from 32 to 72, and added a larger espresso bar, improved the lighting and sound and took care of some other things to make the operation work better.
Gonzales, who will mark 10 years with Patrick Dugan’s in January, said many things have gone into making the business successful, but the thing she hears from customers the most is the great atmosphere. Other coffee shops can serve good product and have good baristas but they can’t replicate Dugan’s atmosphere, she said.
“People say it’s warm, it’s inviting. And the people here are warm and inviting. I hear that all the time,” she said.
Gonzales also gives credit to the nine staff, four full time and five part timers, who work behind the bar.
“They are the faces of Patrick Dugan’s and people get to know them and love them. We want people to be treated like family when they’re here,” she said.
Baristas undergo a lot of training, she said, and typically don’t feel comfortable behind the bar for about six months. Considering the coffee world is always changing, they’re always in training mode, which Gonzales said is one of the best parts of the job for some people
“I love it. Every day is something different,” she said.
New VIP Mug Club
With the expansion, Patrick Dugan’s has launched the VIP Mug Club, an expansion of its normal Mug Club, which provides exclusive discounts when the customer brings in their ceramic Dugan’s mug for a refill.
Those who choose to be part of the VIP Mug Club won’t have to worry about bringing in their mug every time because the mug sits on a shelf on display inside the shop.
“We have 60 exclusive spots. Each spot is for one year, and then they get the right of first renewal, so potentially they could hand down the spot to their kids which I’ve heard some already talk about. I think that’s really cool,” Gonzales said.
The already existing Mug Club is not going away. But Dugan’s wanted to do something special for its customers.
“We’re fortunate to have very loyal customers and this is great for them. We like to make everyone feel important, but those loyal customers who come every day, sometimes twice a day, this is for them,” Gonzales said.
In January, Dugan’s will be bringing in a new, exclusive tea line called Bluebird Tea out of the United Kingdom. Gonzales said Patrick Dugan’s will be their first exclusive wholesale company in the United States.
“They are one of the best in the U.K. They get tons of awards. We went through an extensive application process, and they researched us, asked us lots of questions, just to be sure, because for them it’s not a partnership, it’s an extension of their store and they thought we were a good fit. We’ve been talking to them for a year,” she said. “We are so honored to be their first wholesale spot in the U.S.”
With Christmas just days away, Patrick Dugan’s also is a good choice to find stocking stuffers. The shop has gift certificates, holiday coffee blends including the Kansas Snowday and Lump of Coal brands, as well as mugs and gift cards.
Patrick Dugan’s is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and open until 7 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.