Clutch Coffee Bar, a small chain based in Mooresville is bringing its drive-through coffee concept to Winston-Salem. It opened Saturday in a former Smoothie King at 5709 University Parkway next to a Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Partners Darren Spicer, John Anderson and Jake Vandermeer started the chain in 2018 after buying out two locations of the Human Bean in Mooresville. “John and I grew up in Oregon and worked in drive-through coffee on the West Coast for about a decade each,” Spicer said. “We found a gentleman in Mooresville who owned two locations that already had a drive-through. It presented an opportunity to hit the ground running.”
Spicer and his partners are hoping that the drive-through coffee will get a big following here like it has out West. “Drive-through coffee isn’t as common on the East Coast as it is on the West Coast,” he said.
Clutch uses fair-trade organic coffee and has a full line of espresso and other drinks. Its signature blend is a medium roast made by Dillanos Coffee Roasters in Washington state. Signature coffees — available hot, iced or frozen ($3.75 to $6.25) — include the caramel macchiato, with caramel and vanilla, and the Cloud 9 mocha, with coconut and chocolate.
Energy drinks ($4.25 to $6.50) include Coco Loco (coconut and strawberry) and Palm Beach (passion fruit and pomegranate).
There also are juices, shakes, smoothies, Italian sodas, hot tea and plain or flavored iced teas.
“We have a little bit of everything for everybody,” Spicer said.
Snacks include muffins, marshmallow treats, oatmeal cups, oat bars and peanut-butter protein bars.
Bags of house blend, a medium-roast coffee, available ground or in whole beans, sell for $12.99 for a 12-ounce bag.
Clutch also has signed leases in Clemmons, at 2432 Lewisville-Clemmons Road, and Greensboro, just off Battleground Avenue at 1405 Sunset Drive.
The Clemmons spot is the former Payper Plates drive-through. The Greensboro location is a former Wells Fargo drive-through.
“We are actively looking all over North Carolina,” Spicer said. The company also plans to open two stores soon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Regular hours will be from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
“We want to be able to serve all that commuter traffic,” Spicer said of the unusually early opening hour.
In Mooresville, the small Clutch stores are drive-through only. In Winston-Salem, Clutch has more room. The 1,200-square-foot space has room for what Spicer calls a “lobby” that can hold eight to 10 seats. But he said that the store will operate as a drive-through only, at least until Sept. 14.
Spicer said the company will add online ordering from its website in the next month or so.
He said that the Clutch concept happens to be in line with customers’ habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, because everything is designed to be sold through the drive-through window. The pandemic “has impacted us in a positive way,” he said. “In Mooresville, we’ve have the best four-month stretch we’ve ever had.”
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