Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Local Coffee Shops

Starbucks rules the fancy coffee world…right?  Of course, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and other chains are trying to chip away at Starbuck’s throne on top of the heap of coffee chains.

Another challenge for the major players in this business is a growing number of local coffee houses or shops.  Two of them have surfaced fairly close to our home here in East Tennessee and they are as different as night and day…

This is the Loudon Coffee Lounge in Loudon Tennessee.  As the sign in the window states…they offer coffee, tea, free Wi Fi, cookies, music, art and crafts. 

As you can see on the blackboard/menu, prices are quite reasonable.  Food items are limited to scones, brownies and cookies.  For those who are musically inclined, don’t miss ‘open mic Saturday’!

The Loudon Coffee Lounge occupies a very large space.  The main room is all wood paneled with art work, posters, knick-knacks, books, etc. scattered throughout.  For the live music, the piano and microphone are in place and ready to go.  There is a second large room attached that appeared to be furnished too.  I believe that at least part of this coffee lounge was at one time occupied by a local furniture company.

The coffee brewing/service area is pretty basic.  The entire establishment reminded me of something from the days gone by when hippies were ‘in’.  For younger folks, this might be considered a Bohemian atmosphere.  Some may consider it 'groovy'!

At the time we visited, the snack/food offerings were pretty limited.

Laurie ordered a latte and I ordered a cup of their drip coffee.  We shared that cranberry-orange scone.  The drinks were OK if not good.  This wasn’t our kind of place…we’re just not ‘hip’ (or young enough)…but we’ll give the owner(s) an “A” for their entrepreneurial spirit!

The Loudon Coffee Lounge is located at 854 Mulberry (US Hwy. 11) in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-368-6705.  Apparently, this place is popular with a decent size crowd of folks as their Facebook page has been busy!  Check it out at

Our next area coffee shop is located just a bit north of Loudon just off of US Hwy. 11 on a side street in Lenoir City Tennessee.  This is the Ugly Mug Coffee Café.  Note the outdoor seating…

The owners of the Ugly Mug spent a sizable chunk of change converting and repurposing a former auto transmission shop into an attractive eye-catching coffee shop complete with a drive-up window.

The inside of the Ugly Mug is bright and shiny with a nice service counter, a display case and all the usual coffee making paraphernalia.  As per the menu board, they offer espresso drinks, hot chocolate, chai latte, hot tea, frozen lemonade, frappes, a plethora of cold coffee drinks, brewed coffee and 3 signature drinks.  They also offer a few breakfast items plus an expanded lunch menu.

One of the customers spent some time talking to the owner’s grandson, 12 year old Alex, who was strumming rather nicely on his guitar.  He’s pretty talented.  
been playing for 7 years! The owner’s brother has an Ugly Mug location in Memphis Tennessee and he grinds all the coffee for both cafes.  Customers can purchase packaged Ugly Mug Coffee to take home. 

I had my usual cup of bold coffee and Laurie had an Ugly Mug special Latte…. .  Both drinks were top notch.

I didn’t take a photo of my bagel and cream cheese as it was just fine but it was nothing unusual or different. ($2.35) Laurie ordered a ham and cheese panini. ($5.95) It was very good!  One minor negative was noted during this visit.  One of the servers was less than efficient and perhaps a little ‘scattered’.

On St. Patrick’s Day, Laurie and two of her friends, Jodie and Rosie, took a break from shopping and stopped by the Ugly Mug for a bit of lunch.  Both Laurie and Jodie ordered the day’s quiche which also came with a side salad.  Both ladies were very happy with their choice, though the quiche could of been a bit warmer in the middle, but it was still very good.  Rosie ordered a Cuban sandwich…which she thought was absolutely excellent!  Service was spot on!

We would recommend this establishment… The Ugly Mug in Lenoir City Tennessee is located at 108 “B” Street near the corner of “B” Street and Broadway (US Hwy. 11).  Phone: 865-816-6355.  They are on Facebook at

The original Ugly Mug is located in Memphis and you can buy bags of their coffee on-line.  I also noted that there is another Ugly Mug open or opening in Jackson Tennessee and that they are offering franchises.  Their website can be found at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Sorry the service wasn't up to par, Dave. The cranberry orange scone looks very nice. And quiche and a salad is my kind of meal. So glad that the coffee was top notch.

  2. I think we've met that "scattered" server here a time or two. Bold coffee sounds great and so does that panini! Have a great rest of the week!

  3. Dear Dave, I love coffee. There really is nothing like a good cup of coffee. I don't really go for anything fancy, just a coffee with cream. It is amazing how "in style" coffee has become and how expensive!! I just cannot understand the price of these fancy coffee's.
    I am glad Laurie and her friend enjoyed there lunch. All the best. Catherine