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Local

Sugar Grove's Java Plus reopens in Aurora

Those who continue to miss the coffee, fellow customers, friendly staff and ambiance of Java Plus will be pleased to know that they can now get their fix once again.

The only problem is that the new location is about 14 miles away from the Sugar Grove Public Library at 1677 Montgomery Road in Aurora.

Java Plus had been a popular destination at the library for more than three years before closing at the end of March 2016 because of growing frustration about limitations with operating hours and space.

It opened at its new location four months ago and finally had its official grand opening and ribbon-cutting Sept. 7.

“We appreciate all the support from the city and everybody else,” co-owner Vicki Morkert said. “We are so happy that we were able to create a place where people could come and meet new people, to enjoy peace and quiet and to do their thing. People will come in and sit for three hours doing their homework. The nurses from [Rush] Copley [Medical Center] will come to study, and throughout the day the fire department and ambulance drivers will stop in for coffee, so it’s been great so far.”

Former customers from the Sugar Grove location also are making the trek to Aurora, which says a lot about the coffee and the comfort of having a place to get away, to catch up with a friend, study, read and enjoy live entertainment.

“Some of the old-time guys have come out already and hopefully more will come out as well,” co-owner Mike Morkert said. “This has been a journey for us, and it’s been an interesting process. We’ve been blessed. We’re excited to be here.”

And the community was more than happy to welcome them.

“I personally like the independent mom-and-pop coffee shops that have unique warmth and you can tell the owners love their business and their customers,” said State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora. “I understand the chains, but they’re not the same. You come in here and immediately you feel at home. You’re welcome here and it’s a really nice place to come to.”

Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership for the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, compared Java Plus with a sitcom made famous by Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson, among others, in the 1980s.

“It’s kind of like the coffee version of ‘Cheers’ where they all know who you are,” she said. “There’s a lot of good things being done here, and I like how other small businesses can come here and how they are supporting them and partnering with others by selling their products here as well.”

Java Plus may be known for its coffee, but it’s more than that.

“We’re happy to welcome them to the community and they’re much more than just coffee,” Aurora 9th Ward Alderman Edward Bugg said.

“Coffee, teas, gelato, pastries, brownies and then there’s art and music. This is the kind of place that brings the community together and we’re overjoyed that they are here.”

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