Popular coffee shop closing in Durham - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Popular coffee shop closing in Durham

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Perk on Main, which is a popular coffee shop, is closing its doors at its current location in Durham. (WFSB) Perk on Main, which is a popular coffee shop, is closing its doors at its current location in Durham. (WFSB)

A beloved coffee shop in Durham will be closing its doors at its current location, following a dispute with the landlord over water usage.

The owner of Perk on Main said they're exploring all options to stay in the community they love.  

Perk on Main started with Katie Hughes-Nelson’s love for coffee.

When the corporation where she was working had a re-organization, Hughes-Nelson said she knew, she had to make a change in her life.

"It seemed like a good time to make the leap,” Hughes-Nelson said.

Fifteen years ago, Hughes-Nelson said she opened Perk on Main. A coffee shop in Durham, which is well-known for its coffee, crepes and breakfast. 

"More so it's really the way that people have felt coming in here, and for us to hear that, it's really touching,” Hughes-Nelson said.

But, just recently Hughes-Nelson announced her location on Main Street where they've been for a decade will be closing by the end of the year.

This decision stems from a disagreement with the building's landlord, who Hughes-Nelson said put a water-use restriction in place. That restriction was something that was in her original agreement years ago.

It’s in an effort to make sure they don’t overload the septic system.

"We had agreed and made an addendum to the lease within the first year of operation that there wouldn't be a water usage restriction,” Hughes-Nelson said.

They were then tasked with cutting back on their water usage by about 70 percent or else their lease wouldn't be renewed.

Hughes-Nelson made changes to meet those restrictions, but it was still not enough. She then learned this entire time, the café’s water bill had been switched with the doctor's office right next door.

"The water bill that we were getting was around 300 gallons a day,” Hughes-Nelson said.

But, Hughes-Nelson said they were using closer to 800 gallons daily.

Hughes-Nelson said she's already in the process of looking for a new space and she's committed to staying in Durham."

Regular customers told Eyewitness News it's upsetting to see this place go.

"It is sad that they're going to move from this location anyway,” Perk on Main customer Ray Koba, of Durham, said. “Hopefully, they can find something that would be better."

The landlord told Eyewitness News he has done what he could to help this small business out over the years. But, he said Perk on Main is not the right fit anymore. There are no future plans for this spot, quite yet.

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