JEFFERSONVILLE — A prime chunk of real estate in downtown Jeffersonville awaits new life amid a mix of bars and restaurants.
The owners of Too Tired coffee shop, 250 Spring St., shut down the business April 30 to concentrate on their new venture in downtown Scottsburg. What will replace the popular java joint — and occupy a key spot along Jeffersonville's downtown core — is anyone's guess.
Several factors led to Brandi and Paul Ronau to close Too Tired, which had a three-and-a-half-year run. After opening Java Station 56, and a novelty sock store called Socksburg in the same building on Scottsburg's square, the Ronaus found it difficult to staff the Too Tired location.
"It's hard to get staffing that's dependable, so without us being there managing them and being able to train them up the right way, we didn't want our product to suffer," Brandi Ronau said. "With the time we were spending [at Too Tired] and training people up there [in Scottsburg] it wasn't working out fast enough."
The local coffee shop market also played a role. Jeffersonville officials announced with great fanfare in March that the city's first free-standing Starbucks would be a tenant at the $30 million Gateway Development project at 10th and Spring streets. Add to the mix the Pearl Street Game & Coffee House and plans for a coffee shop at Alan Muncy's development at Market and Spring streets, and the Ronaus felt it was time to exit the Jeffersonville scene.
"We kind of left on our terms, we left when we were doing really well," Brandi Ronau said. "I am really going to miss our customers and being down there. But we just didn't want to continuously split revenue and customers, and things like that."
No Realtor signs or solicitations for leasing the space are visible on Too Tired's windows. The Ronaus, who rented the space, packed up their coffee equipment, which will be used as backups at their Scottsburg location, or for events.
With Spring and Pearl streets' infusion of eateries and drinking holes Mayor Mike Moore could see the trend continue with the former Too Tired spot.
"Obviously our downtown has become a nice place to take a stroll and get a bite to eat and have a beer," Moore said. "Something that fits into the mood of that I think would be very welcome and very successful."
Whatever it is the Ronaus wish it well.
"Obviously we'll miss our customers. I hope they put something there that will benefit the downtown, to grow it," Brandi Ronau said. "I don't necessarily know what that will be. I know people are interested in it. It won't stay empty very long."
Too Tired isn't the only Ronau business on Spring Street on the move. The couple sold its interest in The Red Yeti, the popular pub next door to Too Tired, in September. The timing, said Brandi Ronau, was right for that move, as well.
"We were on a high note, people were looking to us, and it was just a good time to sell," she said. "In a lot of the business decisions we make we look at what's going on in the market, that kind of thing, and it was just our time. We did great while we were there in Jeffersonville, and Jeffersonville was really great to us. We will definitely miss being there."
Now their energies are squarely on Scottsburg, where the Ronaus own the 12,000-square-foot building at the corner of Ind. 56 and Main Street that houses the coffee shop and novelty socks store. The location, which has meeting space and eventually an upstairs event space, gives them ample room to stretch their entrepreneurial muscles.
"We fell in love with the square while we were looking at other properties," Brandi Ronau said. "The buildings are well maintained. It's just been planned out, it has a good infrastructure. It's just something to build up the downtown. They've got a good start."
Too Tired customers would easily recognize Java Station's menu. It has all the same items (yes, including the Monkey Butter drink, a blend of peanut butter, coffee, banana and chocolate) but has been expanded to include lunch offerings: five sandwiches and a soup of the day.
Scottsburg residents have eaten it up.
"We never expected this kind of business," Ronau said. "As far as the community they've just been awesome. They wanted to see a coffee shop succeed here, obviously."
Ronau hopes to duplicate the success she and her husband had in Jeffersonville in their new home in Scottsburg.
"We want to be a catalyst for new business," she said. "We were one of the first in Jeffersonville, and we want to do the same thing here, help it grow and make it a destination."