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Coffee - Soup - Fresh Fruit and a Martini

by Jason Stone

January 3,2004

Growing up in Charlotte over the past thirty years, I’ve seen a lot of change in this city. To witness the transformation of a ghost town in the center city to a thriving uptown full of life and activity is amazing.

It’s been rewarding to have played a part in the change. My business partner, Tim Low, and I, opened Cinema Café in Fourth Ward in 1997. We closed it a short while later in anticipation of moving across the street. It didn’t work out with our new landlord, and the search for a location that would work well with our concept took another two years.

In 2003, we opened Therapy Marketplace and Café at 401 North Tryon Street. Our concept was a combination high-end coffeehouse and martini bar. Throw in some gourmet sandwiches, soup, salad, wine, a fresh fruit stand, and live music in a smoke-free environment, and there you have it.

I know what you’re thinking: sounds simple enough. That’s what we thought.

One challenge we faced with this location was that the previous establishment had closed at 3 PM for over six years and was shuttered on weekends. To build a customer base, our operating hours are 7 AM to midnight, Monday thru Friday, and 7 AM until 2 AM on Saturday. The long hours can be a headache, but it’s been worthwhile. Our regular customers have been great, and word of mouth is growing.

Our type of café in the center of uptown has proved a natural fit.

Our customer base in the residential and business district appreciate our type of establishment. Our location provides us strong daytime support for coffee and gourmet lunches. Our nighttime business continues to improve steadily with support from locals and tourists.

Live music four nights a week has also proved a good draw for new customers. We hope for more places like ours to further enhance the image of Charlotte.

If we could improve one aspect of uptown, it would be the number of residents. We hope future development continues to integrate living and working in the same area—if not in the same building. More residents in the Center City creates more demand for amenities.

We’re excited that Therapy Marketplace and Café is located in the heart of Charlotte.

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