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Downtown coffee shop sees fewer customers with more people working remotely; events canceled

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:15 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Mark Shriner, owner of The Coffee House at 13th and P Street is no stranger to adversity.

“I’ve had cancer, stage four, ankylosing spondylitis, my back is broken right now,” Shriner said.

He’s owned The Coffee House since he was 18 years old in 1990.

The shop has weathered economic downturns, tragedies and recessions.

But Shriner said COVID-19 is the toughest opponent yet.

“I’ve been worried since the day they announced changes would be made,” Shriner said. It’s worrisome, you see some money coming in which is nice but then just see your savings going down which isn’t nice."

Shriner’s main customer base are downtown workers who want to get out of the office and the University of Nebraska for catering events.

But now, people are working from home and events are cancelled.

“Losing all those jobs has been a kick in the teeth,” Shriner said.

Shriner said he borrowed money and made as many changes as possible to adapt to COVID-19.

“It’s hard to wake up every day and think things are going to get better,” Shriner said.

He said the light in all of this are the customers who continue to choose local shops like his.

“It’s at times almost too much to handle emotionally,” Shriner said.

Shriner said it’s those customers who have helped The Coffee House stay open, and hopefully will help it survive the pandemic.

“My gut tells me we’ll make it,” Shriner said.

Shriner said if you’re looking for a free way to support local coffee shops like his, sharing their posts on social media and telling friends about the shops makes a big difference and costs nothing but time.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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