Renovations to Spencer’s Coffee expand seating in popular downtown café

Customers relax in the new remodeled interior of Spencer’s Coffee on Monday, Jan. 27. The coffee shop recently reopened in this location after a brief period of operating in the lobby of the building next door during renovations. (Demetrius Freeman/ HERALD)

Leah Brown

Spencer’s Coffee reopened last week, shocking customers with its recent renovations.

Justin Shepard, owner of Spencer’s Coffee, said customers would walk in and say, “This doesn’t look like it belongs in Bowling Green.”

The shop closed for the first two weeks in January. 

The renovation included taking over the back half of a law firm and replacing it with restrooms, an office and storage space. The kitchen and service counter are now more efficient, and the dining room expanded its seating from 50 to 80 seats.

Spencer’s also has seating in their courtyard for up to 40 people.

“We’ve been maxed out on seats for the past year or so when Western is in session, especially if the weather is pretty good,” Shepard said.  

Starting back in August of last year, Spencer’s began holding beer garden events in their courtyard every couple of weeks. During these events, they feature a brewery and serve a variety of beers. 

Spencer’s sells beer on draft and in bottles.  

Shepard said the coffee shop is not trying to become a bar, but they want to give people a good beer in a relaxing environment.

Planning for the renovation had been in the works for the past six months and was spurred on when they started running out of seating and workspace.  

The renovation took place during January because it is generally the slowest time of the year for the food industry and WKU students were on break.  

Shepard said it is a long-term investment that will not only increase business, but help them do business better. 

Regular customers were anxious for the change, but reacted very well to it.

Lauren Culbreth, a two-year employee, said she liked the way it looked before, but it’s been easy getting used to the new way of doing things. 

So far, the expansion has made business more successful.  

“If I looked at this week last year, I would say this week has been much busier,” Shepard said.  

The changes in the shop also brought a change in the demographic of the customers.

People who heard about the expansion wanted to check it out. 

“Seeing a lot of new faces has been a really nice change of pace,” Culbreth said.  

Spencer’s goal is to be a place in Bowling Green where people can walk in and leave the weight of the world outside.

Whether a customer comes in for a morning coffee or to have lunch with a friend, Spencer’s wants to give them the best quality for what they’re buying.

Jon Dunn, a junior from Jamestown, is a regular customer at Spencer’s and said the changes were pretty sweet.  

He plans to use the coffee shop as a study space for the upcoming semester.  

 “It’s a good, calm place to study,” Dunn said.