The familiar aromas of muffins, stickybuns, and freshly brewed coffee greet the eager guests who enter the newly painted door of the expanded Mad Batter coffeeshop. The room, formerly occupied by Cullowhee Flowers and Gifts, is wide and open and fronted by tall glass windows. Small bars have been built into the windows on platforms with barstools for seating so that customers can watch the passing people or the steady whir of cars approaching the stoplight on Western’s campus.
On the right, at a small square table decorated with a blue tablecloth, two older gentlemen sip their steaming coffee and chuckle at some private joke. Two students sit at another table flipping through glossy magazines. Another student seems to have found himself drawn to the tall bookshelf on the right wall.
The cafÃ© is warm and inviting. There’s a newly constructed stage for musical performances and several tables to enjoy the fresh foods served by the Mad Batter. A few Alice in Wonderland posters decorate the walls and another table sits nearby, the familiar tall coffeepots beckoning to the caffeine-dependent. The steady clink and thunk drift out from the kitchen as the worker behind the counter serves up whatever kind of sweet bakery item one could want with his or her coffee. The atmosphere only gets better as one moves further into this little abode. Lauryn Hill’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” comes through the stereo speakers urging everyone to tap their feet in time to the steady beat.
Sound like the old Mad Batter? Well, not quite. Students and faculty alike are finding themselves drawn into the new expansion adjacent to where the old Mad Batter resided.
The Mad Batter re-opened Wednesday, January 10, with more space, more seating, but more of the same cozy atmosphere.
New food items for the curious and hungry include Mad Bagels of assorted flavors, new breads such as whole wheat with sesame, an added selection of cookies, and stuffed pockets for the lunch crowd. According to Jeannette Evans, the owner, who seeks to re-use the space and items available from the florist shop, the Mad Batter will offer a variety of new activities and services.
Evans’ brown eyes sparkle as she says, “One of the most exciting new additions is that of the live jazz music on Tuesday nights from 6-8.”
She hopes to include more musical entertainment as the semester goes by.
The Mad Batter also has new hours. It is now open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 7 pm, and on Saturdays from around 8-5.
Additionally, there is now a new retail section featuring locally-made products. Better systems and more space are inspiring more creative ideas for Evans, who plans to expand her bakery as she gets her business up and going again.
So step inside for the fresh taste of black Columbian coffee, stimulating conversations, and the sweetness of stickybuns and muffins while enjoying the relaxing atmosphere with friends.