Dining With Denise Neil

Creative entrepreneur turning car wash into coffee shop

12 Brew Drive Thru is opening inside an old carwash in Newton.
12 Brew Drive Thru is opening inside an old carwash in Newton.

The award for the best use of a broken-down car wash goes to Murray Anderson, who is about to open a new drive-through coffee shop in Newton called 12 Brew Drive Thru.

Anderson, who owns Anderson Retail Liquor at 12th and Oak in Newton, also owns the strip center that it’s in, the former Conoco building that now houses Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and the former car wash next to it.

He’d known the car wash, which is at 220 E. 12th, was at the end of its life cycle, Anderson said. So when it finally broke down for good, he had a plan for the building: turn it into a rain- and snow-proof drive-through coffee shop.

Anderson has designed a drive-up window at the end of the car wash’s 50-foot bay. Although there will be no indoor seating, the coffee shop will have a walk-up window.

One other unusual decision Anderson made: He isn’t installing an intercom system at the drive-through. People will order their drinks face-to-face with the drive-through operator.

“It’s a more personal feeling,” he said. “We’ll have it set up so it’s efficient and fast.”

Anderson plans to use Reverie Coffee Roasters coffee in his shop, and at the advice of Reverie owner Andrew Gough, he’s purchased high-end coffee equipment to brew it with. He also plans to sell croissants made by Crust & Crumb Co. and cinnamon rolls and scones baked by The Breadbasket. Both are Newton businesses.

He also plans to use Hildebrand Farms milk out of Junction City.

In addition to a full menu of coffee drinks, Anderson said, he also plans to serve milk shakes made with Hiland Dairy ice cream, and the shakes will be catered to both adults and children. Some will be caffeinated. Some will just be sweet.

Anderson said he plans to open the coffee shop from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, though he might push the opening time back a little on Sundays.

“It’ll be quick and friendly and bring something to Newton that hasn’t been here,” he said. “From the anticipation we’ve heard as people are finding out about this, I think a lot of people are excited about it.”

Stay tuned for an opening date.