For those of you who have opened a new cafe.... Has anyone used Millrock or a similar type modular bar system?  Are they expensive or reasonable when the functionality is taken into account?  The other option would be having a builder put something together thats exactly what I wanted...  Other ideas are welcome too!  Lets hear about what you did.

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We built our first Cafe with a Millrock Bar. I would not do business with them again. You can get a lot better value from a local cabinet maker probably less than half the cost.
You're probably better off working with a local cabinetmaker and develop a custom job tailored to your specific needs.  Certainly a company like Millrock will have some insight for the first time operator but if you've been working in the field, I'm reasonably sure you'll know what you need for your operations.
Good to know... I had figured going on my own would work out the best.  I've been around long enough to know exactly what I want.... I didn't have to make that decision on my first shop, but my next one will be a complete build out.  Thanks!

Another thing to consider:

When you finally get to the point that you're really starting to plan your new bar, ask friends in the business for their thoughts and feedback.  Lots of times you'll get some really great input as well as ideas and items that you either missed or hadn't thought about before.

 

Also, I spent(d) a lot of time observing other operations from coffee shops to restaurants to Apple Store, retail shops, manufacturing and everywhere in-between because you never know where a good idea will come from and many times other operations will have something that could work for your environment.  Take the pitcher rinser so popular lately - that's a direct import from the glass rinsing segment of the bar industry.  It was people like Shane Devereaux of Habit Coffee in Victoria that co-opted the device that became a "must have" accessory in the proper coffee bar.

I agree with Jay and Jason. 

 

We purchased a coffee business that looks great but had zero functionality. 

The guy who built it had zero coffee experience and the place was designed by an architect. You'd walk a mile to make a single latte!!! 

We've done what we can for reorganization/streamlining for functionality, but it is no where near what we'd want. 


If you're coming to Houston for the SCAA Event, stop by and grab an espresso and see for yourself. 

quick 2 cents...

We don't charge for consultive services and we don't charge for design.  Our prices are shared openly and we strive to provide the right level of fabrication form and function we believe is required for a successful cafe.  Our experience is shared openly as a member of the coffee community.  When we have the opportunity to earn your business the results are all within your control.  We will help you reach your budget and we will also tell you when we are not the right solution.  Matt's Cafe...we were not the right solution.  This does not take away from our Modular Cafe system or Matt's vision of HIS cafe.  We can not be all things to all people and neither is your cafe.

We can and will help anyone achieve their dream cafe and if it's made with us we consider that a good day.

 

Thank you for listening please call or email with any questions on your cafe.

Even if it's a "someday i'd like to..." we really are here to help. 

Happy New Year!

It's probably a sliding scale between your personal knowledge of the coffee retail business and cost.

 

Eight years ago when I opened my first cafe, I used Carriage Works. I didn't know much about how to build out a cafe and they were extremely helpful, but it was a little expensive.  Eight years later, I know exactly what I would want and would just contract a local architect and local builder. But at this point, I know what I want and could point the architect in the right direction if needed. I wouldn't change the way I did it. Carriage Works provided valuable advice and suggestions for me to get into the business.

 

As for Millrock Modular Brand Group, I would never use them. Read the following bX discussion and draw your own conclusions. Fancy promises sometimes are worthless.

 

http://www.baristaexchange.com/forum/topics/buyer-beware-millrock?x...

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