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Great Escape: Coffee and Music on a Sunshiny Afternoon

Relax with a Chillabica at Amarabica.

It feels like a cruel joke, but Mother Nature’s not foolin' around – that really is snow you see on the ground.

But the weather has to turn eventually, and this week’s great escape idea will have you rooting for spring all week long.

Take a break from your busy weekend and stop in at Amarabica Coffee Shop on Route 19 in Wexford at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, for an afternoon of live original, acoustic music on the arbor-covered patio. The event features local musician Jason Deutsch, of the band Hero and the Lie, with acoustic act Geoff Bland.

If it’s warm, order the shop’s signature drink – the Chillabica. It’s a frozen coffee drink made with ice, yogurt and coffee for a creamier taste and consistency than the standard frozen drink. If coffee isn't your thing, don't worry. Try an old-fashioned Italian soda or phosphate.

If Mother Nature STILL won’t cooperate, don’t skip the chance for some quiet time. Just settle yourself at a table inside and curl up with a Shot in the Dark -- espresso with coffee -- and a book chosen from the lending library tucked in the back of the shop.

Amarabica -- the name is a reference to American and Arabica beans -- opened just four months ago in the building formerly occupied by Smoker Friendly. It’s the realization of a long-held dream for owner Brad Dressen of Mars.

“I love coffee shops, and I stop at all the local mom and pop shops when I travel," he said. "I thought: Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of a coffee shop myself?"

Inside, the space has undergone a complete renovation since its days as Smoker Friendly. Manager Matt Hollan, an artist and a longtime friend of Dressen’s, did all the interior design, including the gorgeous wall murals in soothing shades of blue, red, yellow and orange.

Amarabica gets its beans from a roaster in Michigan that Dressen’s wife discovered on a visit to the area. Dressen said they’ve been “a home run.” If you get the munchies, Amarabica also offers a selection of delicious, fresh-baked scones, cookies, bagels and muffins.

“We’ve had a fabulous response so far,” Dressen said. “Our repeat customers keep coming back and new customers keep coming in.”

Susan Muschweck April 02, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Amarabica is a great addition to Wexford. It's a great place, and serves great coffee!

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