April 04, 2001 11:00 pm
IN BUSINESS AS "JOE AND SUGARS": Al MacLeod whips up an ice mocha at a new coffeeshop that he is operating with his spouse, Colleen. (The Observer/ERIN WITTEN).
IN BUSINESS AS "JOE AND SUGARS": Al MacLeod whips up an ice mocha at a new coffeeshop that he is operating with his spouse, Colleen. (The Observer/ERIN WITTEN).

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Its been four or five years since Al and Colleen MacLeod operated the Highway 30 Coffeshop on Washington Avenue near Fourth Street.

They sold that business, which moved to Adams Avenue. It has since changed hands a few times, which the MacLeods figure lets them out of any no-compete clause in the sales agreement.

So, the MacLeods are back at the same location, 1103 Washington Ave. and not a whole lot will be changed from their previous operation, Al MacLeod said. A few prices, such as for coffee, will be higher than before, he said.

The establishment will cater to the lunch crowd and also offer a variety of grab-and-run breakfast type goodies. And coffee.

Theres restaurant-type seating for about 35. Al will be the main man at the store. Colleen, a Union County commissioner, will assist as she can. The help will consist mainly of college students working at about the equivalency of one full-timer.

The mural on the wall painted by John Hanley, using some old postcards Colleen MacLeod had from her mothers collection is still there. Hanley has touched it up and made a couple of changes.

One was inserting the new name of the business: Joe and Sugars.

Theres the joe, Al said, pointing to several coffee pots with different labels. Bridgetown is his coffee supplier. After some equipment and venting is installed, he will do his own roasting, he said.

Coffee will be $1 a cup, with lattes averaging about $2.50. He will sell coffee for about $8 a pound, he said.

You can get a hot pastrami and Swiss sandwich on rye, for example, for about $5, and youll be able to add the condiments you want after you pick up the meat, cheese and bread from a server. Of course, there are several choices of meats and cheeses and breads.

Some things are pretty close to how they used to be, Al said. The food will be pretty much the same type, only now you can do em like you like em.

The coffee roasting is one thing that is different. Well have high- quality espresso, and I love having Bridgetown as our coffee supplier.

There are also sodas, soups and both Coke and Pepsi.

Hell use the blank wall opposite the mural to hang works by local painters, who need to sign up to have their art work displayed.

There will be goodies for the morning crowd, too, Al said. He will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and closed Sundays. The phone number is 975-5282.

Another thing MacLeod will bring back are the concerts that used to be held there.

Well do concerts and open mikes, he said, reeling off the names of several performers who filled the place in past years.

The MacLeods opened the first Highway 30 Coffeshop in 1993 or 1994 after taking our first leap into the food service business by operating a lunch truck in the 1980s, Al MacLeod said. They also had a breakfast run then, too, he said. They lease the building from Mike Ruth. The store is part of a building that at one time housed the local Montgomery Ward store.