Instead of Water Street, Makers & Finders looks to Summerlin

Myra Muntean makes a coffee at Makers & Finders Urban Coffee Bar, 1120 S. Main St., in downtown Las Vegas shortly after its opening in 2014. The coffee shop is seeking to open a second location in the Summerlin area.

Independent coffee shop and eatery Makers & Finders Urban Coffee Bar has scrapped its Henderson expansion plan for now, but a second location in Summerlin is brewing.

Despite the initial excitement to open in a new building on Water Street in downtown Henderson, the development didn’t progress at a rate Makers & Finders owner Josh Molina thought it would, so he had to pull the plug on the Henderson idea.

“They had a plan that was very urban, which we are coming off of on our Main Street location … We instantly fell in love with the vision they had to create a downtown for Henderson,” said Molina, who opened Makers & Finders in downtown Las Vegas in 2014. “This is before they even started designing and doing actual plans.This was just the vision phase.”

Molina, a life-long Henderson resident, said that he was especially excited to help usher in a new era in the area.

“I was very happy to come full circle and do something in my old stomping grounds,” he said. "Unfortunately as time passed by, I was looking at a lot of what we did on Main Street, how it happened, why it happened … We just weren’t seeing the traction we wanted to see gained before we started the project. I just didn’t feel like it was on firm ground.”

After nixing the Henderson plans in January, Molina shifted his attention to creating a second Makers & Finders location in a different part of the valley.

“We are fielding offers and are in the process of relocating our second location to Summerlin,” Molina said. “We can make it (Makers & Finders) a little more accessible, a little more convenient (than in Henderson) to those who already come to our downtown location.”

Molina cited the Summerlin area’s demographics as one of the reasons he’s looking west.

“What we intended to do is bring downtown (Las Vegas) to Summerlin,” he said. “There is a demand for it, which is why they created the master-planned Downtown Summerlin. I think they want more of that urban feel that we’ve become so good at representing.”

The second Makers & Finders will have a similar menu, featuring Latin comfort foods and craft coffee, but with a more updated look to it to fit in with the area better, he said.

“I’ve come to a great appreciation for Main Street and all of downtown — I really think downtown is for everyone,” Molina said. “People will consider downtown a destination. When we started the project, we geared it more toward downtown and the few residents that it has and the Monday-through-Friday working population. We soon realized our weekends were much busier than our workweek days.”

Through sales tracking, he said he realized that the shop had turned into a destination of its own. People from all areas of the valley craved a downtown experience, he said.

“I learned that people love the density, the high-energy ambiance, the hustling and bustling and the vibrancy of what we have to offer and the passion behind it,” he said. “I intend to bring that whole vibe to Summerlin.”

Despite planning a new location, Molina said he hasn’t shunned the Main Street location. He has updated several features to stay current with customers’ ever-changing demands.

Makers & Finders’ extended hours at its Main Street location went into effect on April 7. It is now open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sundays. New food items and a premium tea service were added.

“With the additions we have very much remained true to our core, with our Latin-inspired menu,” Molina said. “We waited two-and-a-half years (for the new hours) because the area wasn’t ready for a late-night cafe then. We feel the area has grown enough to where now we can offer that and it be viable.”

Molina didn’t rule out revisiting the idea of opening in Henderson in the future.

“I think we left on good terms with everybody bullheading the vision of Water Street, and we made it very clear that hopefully there will be another time for us to do business on Water Street,” he said. “It just wasn’t now.”

Another coffee shop planned for Henderson space

With Makers & Finders pulling out of the proposed downtown Henderson location, the developer scrambled to find a new partner to fill the space that sits below Tate Snyder Kimsey (TSK) Architects.

Windom Kimsey, owner of the downtown Henderson property, brought in Public Works Coffee Bar to take over the first-floor area in the 6,500 square-foot office building.

“When Makers pulled out, which wasn’t until January, we responded quickly, so we have a startup coffee shop coming in.”

Click to enlarge photo

Tate Snyder Kimsey (TSK) Architects' building on Water Street will soon house Public Works Coffee Bar after Makers & Finders' owner decided to pursue a second location in Summerlin.

Kimsey said when the plans for the building were first developed, having a coffee shop with food and beverages was an important aspect of the project.

“It’s something that is lacking in downtown Henderson and we rebounded fairly quickly and we’ll have something open six months after Makers told us they weren’t coming,” he said.

Scheduled to open in June, the establishment will emphasize building community ties, Kimsey said.

“It’s focused on high-quality coffee, with as much stuff sourced locally,” he said. “We’re going to use beans from Mothership Roasters which roasts in Henderson. We’ll also have beer and wine, with the beer coming from some of the local providers. The food will also be provided from local places in Henderson.”

Kimsey also noted that there will be a community room in Public Works for groups to use for special events and meetups. A professor from UNLV's William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration wants to do a monthly educational wine tasting, he said.

“The idea to to really have a gathering place in downtown Henderson for people,” he said. “We wanted to provide something that was going to be a resource for the community.”

Kimsey said some adjustments were needed after Makers & Finders pulled out.

“We had designed all the underground stuff for their layout, and we’re doing something different (for Public Works), “ he said. “It’s requiring a few changes, buit other than that it made it really easy to move and put something in there.”

Kimsey said he was determined to have a business fill that space.

“Doing a successful development needs that aspect of it, so to have it sitting empty would not have been delivering the promise I made to the city of Henderson when we started this,” he said.