Dining With Denise Neil

Popular downtown coffee shop taking over YMCA cafe space

Mead’s Corner at Cafe 402 will open inside the downtown YMCA in August. The space as been vacant since February.
Mead’s Corner at Cafe 402 will open inside the downtown YMCA in August. The space as been vacant since February. File photo

Mead’s Corner, the popular downtown coffee shop at 430 E. Douglas, is opening a second location in an unexpected place.

The coffee shop will take over the cafe inside the downtown YMCA at 402 N. Market that was vacated when Jason Fisher’s Cafe 402 closed in February. It’s been vacant ever since.

The new cafe is tentatively scheduled for a soft opening starting Aug. 1. It will be called Mead’s Corner at Cafe 402 and will serve a modified version of the Mead’s Corner menu, including coffee, espresso, tea, panini sandwiches, wraps and salads. Cafe managers plan to add more menu items as they go.

Mead’s Corner manager Gina Buster said that the coffee shop managers had wanted to expand for some time, and when the YMCA approached the business about taking over the spot, they saw an opportunity.

“We’re super excited,” she said. “We’re excited about the partnership, and the opportunities are going to be awesome for us, for what we do and what they do.

Buster said she will be adding more staff to help run the new cafe, which is in the YMCA lobby. It will be open to anyone, not just members of the YMCA.

Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. It’ll be closed on the same holidays the YMCA is closed.

Mead’s Corner opened in 2008 as a project of First United Methodist Church of Wichita. Over the years, it’s donated more than $70,000 from its tip jar to charitable organizations locally and nationally. Its tip jar funds at the new location will go to the YMCA’s Strong Community campaign.

This will be the third cafe tenant at the downtown YMCA since it opened in 2012. Its first was the Hyatt, which operated from the gym’s opening until October 2013, when Fisher took over.

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