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Zen Café opening second location in downtown South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Zen Café owner Shaun Maeyens said the coffee shop and roastery’s Lang Lab location has gotten “too busy.”

He said the problem is good to have and is the driving force behind the café’s soon-to-open second location at 530 E. LaSalle.

“The love and support from this area has been great and with that, we’ve grown to a point where we’re almost too busy,” Maeyens said.

Zen Café’s current location on High Street at the Lang Lab, while a popular stop, is a bit off of the beaten path from downtown South Bend.

Zen Cafe's original location in inside of Lang Lab on High Street.

“We’re in kind of an interesting location for a coffee shop. It makes a lot of sense for a roastery but not so much for someone who just wants their morning coffee. We’re a little out of the way, so we’re hoping to reach more people who maybe haven’t heard about us or can’t make the trip to Lang Lab,” said café manager Tyler Sutch.

The new location, a 1,600 square foot building with an entrance on Hill Street, is set to open at the end of February or early March of 2020.

Over the next few weeks, the Zen Café team will set up a pop-up coffee cart in the midst of the space’s build-out.

The new location will feature both a fast, grab-and-go-type of coffee bar as well as a slower, more personal coffee bar that mirrors the one that already exists at Lang Lab.

“What’s great about this is there will be a blend of bar seating and comfortable seating as well so students who want to come post up and study like they do currently at the Lang Lab location, they’ll still be able to do that here but with more natural light, which will be awesome,” Sutch said.

A cream and sugar help-yourself station will also be present in the new location, unlike the current Lang Lab café.

A Synesso MVP will allow baristas to brew and pour consistent craft coffee drinks.

Sustainability, Sutch said, will continue to be a theme of the café at the second location.

“Both locations use and will use the bio-compostable hot and cold to go cups and lids. We also only use paper straws,” Sutch said.

More food options will be available at the new location after the grand opening, according to Sutch.

Zen Café first arrived to the area back in 2006 at a booth at the South Bend Farmers’ Market. The original Lang Lab cafe location opened in September of 2016.

For Maeyens, the second location is a dream finally realized.

“It’ll allow me to build the café I’ve always wanted to build,” Maeyens said.

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