News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 12, 2013

Potatoes, coffee at the Grounds

Decades-long coffee location to remain a Wabash java spot

TERRE HAUTE — Carbohydrates and caffeine may soon find a delicious mix in an new downtown Terre Haute business.

Kevin M. Hunt has leased the former Coffee Grounds building to open a new business that will feature baked potatoes, loaded with different toppings, such as chicken, pulled pork, steak and cheese. He also plans to offer coffee, a long-standing stay at 423 Wabash Ave., since George Shumay opened a coffee shop in 1993.

“I was looking to open up a restaurant in Terre Haute, and I walked into this place and thought it was pretty amazing and saw the potential here,” said Hunt, who previously lived and worked in Evansville.

Hunt plans to offer 10 featured loaded potatoes costing $6. Special order potatoes, with additional toppings, will cost more. The potatoes are each about a pound, then loaded with about a half pound of toppings.

“I am trying to set this up so it will be quick service for the downtown crowd, as well as the price point makes it attractive to college students,” Hunt said.

While a new business name has not been finalized, Hunt is considering “Taterz Coffee Grounds.” Hunt hopes to have the business open to the public in late February or early March. He may hold a private soft opening before that.

Pete Wilson, a previous owner of the Coffee Grounds, will advise and aid Hunt with the coffee side of the business. “I know Pete was very successful here, and I want his expertise on why this was so successful for him,” Hunt said. “I want to try to halfway do that justice if I can. He ran a great shop here,” Hunt said.

Hunt also plans to offer salads, some sandwiches and donuts and pastries.

Hunt said he previously worked in several food retail stores. At age 25, he returned to college and graduated in 2009 from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in economics.

Hunt, now 34, came to Terre Haute from Evansville, where he worked in a pizza shop and as a music promoter for a night club. Hunt said he hopes to bring some local and regional musicians to his business in the future for daily or weekly performances.

Hunt has ties to Vigo County. His father grew up in Prairie Creek, and he has several relatives who still live there. In addition, a brother, Josh Hunt, lives in Terre Haute. His parents, who live in Crawfordsville, will assist in the business. His mother will help with accounting, Hunt said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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