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Community News and Updates

Posted on: May 31, 2018

Downtown La Marque Revitalization Efforts Secure Renaissance District Coffee Shop

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The Art of Coffee is a coffee shop, restaurant and art gallery set to open winter 2018 at 401 Laurel Street

The Art of Coffee will be the first tenants for 401 Laurel building in La Marque Renaissance District, marking a big win for the city’s downtown revitalization project. La Marque Economic Development Corporation purchased 401 Laurel and has been working with architects on an exterior facade renovation. Exterior construction should begin this summer. Art of Coffee La Marque interior buildout will begin in October and patrons should be sipping hot coffee in the Renaissance District by winter 2018.

Coffee shop owners Jimmy Sims and Bill Minak are passionate about bringing life back to main streets across our region. Their first coffee shop is at 609 Bradford Avenue in Kemah, Texas. When they decided to open, the area was deserted.

“When visitors came to Kemah, they’d come down the main drag, turn left toward the Boardwalk and completely overlook this beautiful building,” said Bill Minak, Art of Coffee Co-Owner. “We saw an opportunity. With some strong encouragement from my daughter, Cheyenne, we opened the coffee house and it changed this entire community.”

The walls in Art of Coffee are adorned with colorful artwork from local artists. Open mic nights, art walks, sip and strolls, private parties and community festivals are a way of life for Bill and Jimmy. They plan to bring the same atmosphere in La Marque and, above all, they hope to create a gathering place in the Renaissance District. The coffee house will be 2,000 square feet plus a large, shaded outdoor patio.  A drive through window is planned, as well.  

“We are a family-owned and family-friendly business,” said Jimmy Sims, Art of Coffee Co-owner. “We treat staff and customers like family. If you don’t have a family, don’t worry, you will become ours.”

Art of Coffee La Marque will create six to eight part time jobs. Homemade pastries, including cakes, pies and muffins, will be a staple, as well as kombucha, Famous Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Granny’s  Breakfast Bagels on Saturdays and Sundays.

Jimmy and Bill are accepting applications for La Marque baristas and they are searching for historic La Marque items to add to the décor in their new location. For a complete business profile on Art of Coffee La Marque, watch for the Summer 2018 edition of Inside La Marque around July 1.


Pictured from left: Jimmy Nieto, barista and Manager, Jimmy Sims, Co-Owner and Bill Minak Co-Owner at Art of Coffee Kemah. 


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About La Marque Renaissance District: For the past several years, residential and commercial expansion has been concentrated on the west side of town. New neighborhoods and business developments in the Wal-Mart complex have resulted in sustained growth for La Marque. But, the historic heart of the city lies on the east side where City Hall, Economic Development Corporation, Police Department and Public Library thrive. La Marque is experiencing a Renaissance. The city’s leaders are committed to city-wide revitalization projects, one of which is revitalization of our historic Central Business District located on Laurel Street, from Bayou Road to Yupon Drive and 1st Street, from Bayou Road to Highway 3. This area of town has been dubbed the Renaissance District. After months of careful planning, focus groups and studies, the first of many construction projects is scheduled to begin in early 2018. The building at 401 Laurel is getting a face lift. This project is the first step in creating an attractive destination for La Marque residents, and is intended to refocus business development toward the City’s urban core. This effort will be driven by the principles of place making, walkability and accessibility and is designed to draw coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment.

About the City of La Marque: La Marque, Texas, is strategically positioned 15 miles southeast of Houston and serves as a southern anchor for the economically strong Houston-Galveston region. La Marque is the second-fastest-growing city in the County with an estimated population of 16,000, an area of 14.25 square miles and boasting 14.3 miles of I-45 frontage—more than any other city in Galveston County. Citizens enjoy easy, breezy coastal living, abundant housing options and the security of a hurricane protection levee system. La Marque is a sportsman’s paradise and offers access to world-class medical, travel and entertainment options. Citizens and visitors enjoy Bayou Fest, an early fall concert series and BBQ Cook Off offering free family fun; Magical Winter Lights, a 52-day holiday lantern festival; and Crawfish Bash, an annual crawfish cook off that earned a Guinness World Record in 2017. For business, La Marque offers prime I-45 frontage, creative incentives, an abundance of commercial property, a budding downtown revitalization and build-to-suit opportunities. La Marque is the Gateway to the Gulf and the Hub of the Mainland. Discover the possibilities at www.cityoflamarque.org.

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