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Cahoots Cafe opens in downtown Ann Arbor

Cahoots cafe and hospitality manager Chelsea Hohn on Jan. 7, 2020.
Cahoots cafe and hospitality manager Chelsea Hohn on Jan. 7, 2020. (Credit: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – There’s a new coffee shop in town, and it’s housed inside the newly-completed co-working tech hub Cahoots located at 206 E. Huron St.

Cahoots Cafe celebrated its soft opening on Monday and will be open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. until it expands its team.

It’s currently run solely by Chelsea Hohn, cafe and hospitality manager at Cahoots. Hohn is a veteran barista who has worked at Argus Farm Stop and Arbor Teas.

“I’ve always loved working in coffee shops,” said Hohn. “I think that the interactions that you get working at a coffee bar are my favorite interactions. You get to provide something for someone and have a two-minute banter and then we’re both off on our days. I love that.”

Drinks menu at Cahoots Cafe.
Drinks menu at Cahoots Cafe. (Meredith Bruckner)

Hohn says she was given lots of creative freedom when she joined the Cahoots team in October 2019, and wants it to be a space people can come to relax.

“Everyone in this building is so productive and so focused on working,” she said. "I want this to be a place you can come and breathe for a second, sit down, look outside, have a second to yourself and then go back to your day. We have couches, we have comfy chairs. Come and bring a book, hole up, and make yourself feel at home.”

Cahoots Cafe gets all of its coffee beans from RoosRoast, an Ann Arbor staple.

RoosRoast brewed coffee at Cahoots Cafe on Jan. 7, 2020.
RoosRoast brewed coffee at Cahoots Cafe on Jan. 7, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

“They’ve been really helpful in opening and partnering with them has been huge,” said Hohn. “They’ve been amazing partners.”

Other locally-sourced products include:

  • Salads, soups, wraps and sandwiches from Juicy Kitchen
  • Neu Kombucha
  • Fresh-squeezed juice and immunity potions from Drought
  • Pastries from Milk + Honey
  • Arbor Teas
  • Calder Dairy
Pastries by Milk + Honey at Cahoots Cafe on Jan. 7, 2020.
Pastries by Milk + Honey at Cahoots Cafe on Jan. 7, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

Cahoots has been a work in progress since construction began on the space around two years ago. The co-founders purchased three buildings on E. Huron and decided to connect them to create a massive 25,000-square-foot tech hub.

Today, their vision has finally come true, complete with co-working spaces for startups, a gym, a yoga studio, cafeteria, events space, showstopping lobby, and now, its cafe.

The lobby and cafe area under construction on April 5, 2018.
The lobby and cafe area under construction on April 5, 2018. (Meredith Bruckner)
Vision becomes reality: the cafe and lobby at Cahoots on Jan. 7, 2020.
Vision becomes reality: the cafe and lobby at Cahoots on Jan. 7, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

Managing director Alison Todak said it’s hard to believe the soft opening has arrived.

“It feels unreal that we’re finally here,” said Todak. "It’s been a dream of ours and then to see it come from construction (and to) see it come to fruition is crazy.

“We didn’t think we’d ever hire someone as great as Chelsea, we didn’t think we’d ever finish construction on it, we didn’t think we’d get our Health Department certificate. A lot of times it felt very far off.”

Cahoots managing director Alison Todak on Jan. 7, 2020.
Cahoots managing director Alison Todak on Jan. 7, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

Cahoots co-founder Guy Suter said the plan was always for the lobby of the building feel like a high-end hotel and called it Cahoots’ “welcome mat” to the public.

The finished lobby at Cahoots on Jan. 7, 2020.
The finished lobby at Cahoots on Jan. 7, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

“Part of the whole Cahoots vision was: let’s create something that’s really unexpected and over-the-top here in Ann Arbor,” said Suter. “So, not only do we have a really dedicated private sector tech hub, but I think it’s one of the best in the country with some of the most amazing amenities you’ll find anywhere.

"The coffee shop and the hospitality program in general is a big part of that. It’s the place where you want to get to your meeting early. We have the cool fireplace and it’s a fun place to be in.”

To learn more about Cahoots, visit www.cahoots.com.


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