Coffeehouse startup

Big John

New member
Nov 29, 2006
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I am interested in starting a coffeehouse here in the far SW suburbs of Chicago. My concept is to keep the design simple and the size realtively small, say 1500 sq. ft. To avoid paying the premium prices for new strip mall space in this area, I would look at a storefront location in one of the small towns nearby.

I have prior restaurant ownership experience and sufficient capital. Making a lot of money is not the focus of the idea, but rather to enjoy the ownership experience in a nice community setting.

I'd like to get an idea from you folks as to how much such a project would cost to open, including everything needed. I realize that costs vary a lot due to many factors: among them, the amount of plumbing, electrical, hvac, carpentry, etc. as well as the amount spent on design/style improvements.

Given the foregoing, and assuming the idea is to get this thing off the ground without expending too much capital, would anyone like to take a stab at giving me their range for the project, including furniture, fixtures and equipment, leasehold improvements, and some money for working capital and inventory?

Comfy Place

New member
Jul 15, 2006
Bloomer, Wisconsin
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Coffeehouse Startup

In an area where we are, which is rural, one could get away with $50K to start-up a coffeehouse (we did!). Even in a small suburban town outside of Chicago, I would more expect a figure of $75K at least. I would think that this would even provide you with between $5-$10K of working capital, if you can do things right.

You're right that there is a big range in how much it may cost you to open a coffee shop. The best way to have an idea of how much it will cost you is to start acquiring the figures for the products and the space that you want. You may find out that it will take even more money, or it could take a bit less. Besides, this is research that you will want to be doing anyway, so you can incorporate it into your business plan, and you can ask questions of potential suppliers, landlords, etc.

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