A happy little coffee shop has opened in north Fresno.
Yellow Mug Coffee, at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue near Save Mart opened earlier this month.
Coffee and other drinks are served in sunny yellow mugs – everything from coffee and espresso drinks like a white chocolate mocha, to tea and smoothies. Espresso con pana – espresso with whipped cream on top – is on the menu too (and is getting quite trendy judging from how many coffee shops have started carrying it lately).
Yellow Mug also sells Italian sodas with customers choosing their own flavored syrups for the drink. And they’re not kidding when they say they have a wide selection of syrups. Manager Kate O’Neil says they’ve got 52 syrups (including some less common ones like red velvet, blood orange and sugar-free options).
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He’s the world happiest guy. He’s always smiling.
Kate O’Neil about owner Abe Amireh.
The coffee shop also carries sandwiches, salads, bagels and egg and cheese croissants. Bagels come from the Fresno Bagel Co., pastries from Fig Garden’s La Boulangerie (or “La Bou” as some of us have dubbed it). And a few vegan and gluten-free snack options are available too.
So why yellow mugs?
The manager asked owner Abe Amireh about it: “He’s like, ‘I liked it and it wasn’t taken,’ ” she says.
That upbeat, easygoing attitude saturates the coffee shop.
O’Neil, a 2010 Bullard High School grad, says of her boss Amireh: “He’s the world happiest guy. He’s always smiling.”
Amireh used to run a coffee shop in San Francisco before selling it and moving to the Valley to open Yellow Mug. His experience in coffee led him to make his own blend of coffee, which they serve at the shop and sell in bags.
“It’s darker than most, but it is not bitter,” O’Neil says.
It’s a blend of Italian and French roasts “with a little something else – he won’t tell me what,” she says.
Yellow Mug took over the former Lucy’s Lair Ethiopian restaurant, though it looks completely different now with a long coffee bar and bright purple and yellow walls.
One thing sharp-eyed customers notice: The chairs. At first glance it looks like a steaming mug of cappuccino is carved into the chair backs. But it’s actually a noodle bowl with chopsticks.
They didn’t discover the mixup until after the chairs were delivered. And being go-with-the-flow types, they decided to keep them.
“So we have noodle chairs,” O’Neil says. “It’s a little funny thing now.”
Now that Amireh’s day job has taken him to Newport Beach, O’Neil is the one you’ll see at the shop most days. She’s pretty chipper too, though she swears that’s not caffeine talking, but her natural personality.
“I love it,” she says of the job. “If I could sleep in the back I probably would.”
The coffee shop opens at 6 a.m. daily (closing times are still being worked out). You can find Yellow Mug Coffee on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram at @yellowmugcoffee, or by calling (559) 981-5840.