After Annie Ray opened her Brewhaha coffee shop on the edge of downtown Mineola in the Henry Hotel building, she started looking for some nightlife. She found her own, and is now – on most Friday and Saturday nights – part of the growing music scene in the Upper East Side of Texas.
The name is an obvious play on words, combining “brew” for coffee with “ha ha” for fun. The French word “brouhaha” translates roughly as “uproar.”
Annie said she enjoys all kinds of music and is booking “anything from some rock to country to a fellow who’s playing some Spanish guitar to various acoustic sets.
“It’s purely to be selfish,” she said. “I’m from Denton, which has a thriving music scene. I missed that. I felt Mineola needed to do something for Mineola, in Mineola. Music would be a neat way to have something for the younger crowd, whether teens or in their 30s. And I want my 14-year-old son to be able to go places with me. So I created something.”
Annie has 10-12 years of experience managing restaurants and gas stations, and was running a franchise sandwich shop that did “really well,” she said. “But I was tired of making somebody else money.”
Her dad, an asset manager, found the building for her.
The menu includes a full line of deli sandwiches, ice cream, and “pretty much everything Starbucks does with coffee,” she said.
Regular hours are Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m., reopening at 7 p.m. on most Friday and Saturday nights with the music starting at 7:30 p.m.
“Sometimes we’ll book during the week, and we’re open after hours for birthdays, holiday parties, and various groups,” Annie said.
Original art and celebrity photos cover several of the walls.
The sprawling coffee shop – maybe 2,000 square feet or more in three rooms plus an in-progress outdoor deck – also includes a foosball, ping-pong, and pool tables.
The Henry Hotel was completed in March 1933 on the original site of the first law office of Texas Gov. James Hogg. Designed by architect Henry Alsop Tyler and built by Carl Little, who built several Tudor-style homes on Mineola’s Broad Street, the Tudor-style is rare for a commercial building with the only other known commercial buildings built in this style located in Lubbock, Dallas, and Denver.
“From what I understand, I think it hasn’t been used as a hotel since the 1950s,” Annie said. “According to the décor upstairs, it looks like somebody attempted to reopen it in the 1970s, but I don’t believe they did.”
The building’s only other tenant at the moment is a consignment boutique, Haute Stuff, owned by Shiloh Alexander.
Annie is restoring and maintaining the building, and has plans to rent apartments on the second floor once renovations to the old hotel rooms are complete.
“We still have a little renovation to do,” she said. There are another four rooms downstairs that could possibly turn into a day spa or office space. We’re waiting to see what Mineola asks for next.
“We’re going to put five one-bedroom luxury apartments up there, and should really get started doing that renovation in the summer. We hope to finish that by the first of the year.
Brewhaha is at Located at 206 W. Broad (Hwy 80) on the west side of downtown Mineola. For more information, call 903.638.6892 or go to www.mineolacoffee.com.