It’s a sunny afternoon and the warmth in the air follows you when you enter the brick building. A Frank Sinatra tune fills the room and familiar faces greet you by name. As you wait in anticipation for your drink, the bold scent of fresh brewed coffee embraces you. Toward the back of the room, a small stage beckons for its next performer to showcase their talents to the world. You’ve never felt more at home in a public space.
Welcome to the new Brighton Coffeehouse and Theater1, located right on Main Street in Brighton, Michigan. Despite only being open for a short time, this small business is already a hit among locals and has been rated one of the top coffee shops in Michigan on Facebook.
Marcus, the owner and Lake Trust business member, started his venture after operating out of a small coffee cart at the Brighton Farmer’s Market for several years. When he acquired the old bank building on Main Street, he decided that the great coffee wouldn’t be the only thing that would draw people back again and again.
Marcus is no stranger to the coffee business. His obsession with the caffeinated beverage started in his youth when he traveled to Europe and experienced the unique coffee culture for the first time. Upon returning back to his home in California, he founded the successful Espresso Royale coffee chain and opened new franchises along the West Coast.
When Marcus moved to Michigan several years later, he brought Espresso Royale with him and opened another store in Ann Arbor. But he wanted to do something different in Brighton, the city he called home.
All The World’s A (Coffeehouse) Stage
A passion for the performing arts runs deep in Marcus’ family. His wife directs the local high school theater program and his daughter is an aspiring actress. In his heightened awareness of the theater scene, Marcus noticed something: Other than the high school, Brighton was one of the only cities in the area that did not have a local theater. So, he decided to combine his passion for coffee and serve the performing arts community too.
Marcus, like most business owners, was nervous about sharing his business idea with city residents. What if the coffeehouse didn’t get as much foot traffic as he anticipated? Would anyone use the stage? His worries quickly subsided on opening day as he opened the doors to a crowd of people who were lined up to get a taste of Brighton’s newest café.
And they weren’t disappointed.