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Drift Brewing Up New Café In Downtown Wilmington

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 27, 2022
Drift Coffee & Kitchen is planning to open a new storefront on Front Street in downtown Wilmington. (Photo courtesy of Michael Powell)
Drift Coffee & Kitchen is preparing to serve up another location in Wilmington. Michael Powell, who owns the local chain with his brother Ben, said Monday that he expects the new coffee shop will open in the central business district by July.
 
Drift is renovating the former Wilmington Downtown Inc. office space at 221 N. Front St. to offer the same coffee shop and kitchen model as has proved popular at the brothers' original Ocean Isle Beach location and at the location in Mayfaire Town Center. This translates to an extensive array of coffees and teas plus a selection of fruity drinks and a limited breakfast and lunch menu.
 
At the new shop, customers will order and pick up at the counter but sit at tables indoors and outside. Customers who want to-go items can place their orders through Drift’s mobile app and drop by for pick-up, Powell said. A side door will give the new café direct access to Bijou Park, which is also undergoing renovation.
 
Meanwhile, the Powell brothers are in full swing at their new Wrightsville Beach café, which opened last month in the space formerly occupied for decades by the Causeway Café. Drift’s operation there is different from those of its Ocean Isle Beach, Mayfaire, Autumn Hall cafés, Powell said.
 
“Food is a larger part of our menu there and is more involved, and we offer table service only, except for takeout,” he said. The Wrightsville café also offers beer and wine.
 
Drift’s rapid expansion is possible, Powell said, because of an “amazing team that is helping us to refine what we do. We welcome feedback.”
 
The hours of operation for Drift’s downtown location will be announced closer to its opening date.
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