Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 14:49
New Java Dock owner sees coffeehouse as hub of Port’s cultural activity
Until recently Brian Carlson was just a regular at the Java Dock Cafe on Port Washington’s Grand Avenue.
Those daily stops led Carlson to recently buy the business.
The process began several years ago when he made his daily commute from his Town of Belgium home to his job in Milwaukee. He has now moved to Port Washington.
“I have been stopping at Java Dock on my way to work for several years,” Carlson said.
“It’s on the right side of the street heading toward Milwaukee. I was teaching art at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and at UW-Sheboygan. I have been consistently pleased with the service, but especially the atmosphere.”
He bought the business from Port Washington resident Gertjan VanDenBroek, who continues to own the building.
In the years he has been a customer at the coffee shop, Carlson said he has been impressed by the role the business plays in the community.
“I have come to love Port Washington, and the Java Dock really seems to serve as the cultural hub of town,” he said.
Carlson said he plans no major changes in the immediate future, but foresees several upgrades over time.
“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The staff is wonderful and very upbeat,” he said.
“But I would like to improve the signage by making it more interesting and fun. We also would like to expand the menu to include milkshakes, malts and additional cold drinks, especially this time of year.”
In time, light lunch and breakfast meals may also be offered, Carlson said.
Eventually, Carlson said he would like to expand into an adjacent office suite, creating more seating at the ground level.
The upstairs meeting room will continue to be offered for use by community groups.
Carlson said plans are in the works to introduce live entertainment on a consistent basis “so people have something interesting to do in the evening while they are out for a stroll.”
Plans are also being finalized to improve the customer flow, especially when business is heaviest during the typical morning coffee rush hour, he said.
NEW OWNER BRIAN CARLSON prepared an espresso shot at the Java Dock on Grand Avenue in Port Washington. He bought the coffeehouse after being a longtime customer.
Photos by Mark Jaeger