The corner of Pullman’s Main Street and Grand Avenue was a popular destination for coffee lovers when Cafe Moro operated there for 15 years.
In August, a year after Cafe Moro closed, a new coffee shop will move into that same building with the hope of being a convenient and welcoming place for people to enjoy their favorite brew.
Immanuel Montelongo said he expects to open Manny’s Coffee House on Aug. 7.
The 21-year-old said he was impressed by the positive attitude of the Cafe Moro staff when he grabbed a drink there and he hopes customers will notice that same positivity among his staff at Manny’s Coffee House.
“Coming into that, they’re going to notice that we’re happy to be here,” he said. “We’re happy to have them.”
Montelongo is fulfilling a nearly lifelong dream of owning a coffee shop and has put his education on hold to pursue it. He said it became a passion of his because he noticed coffee was something that always brought his family together.
“Even late hours of the night, my family would come into town from California and we would have dinner and a cup of coffee before going to bed,” the Prosser, Wash. native said. “So it was a family thing for sure.”
Montelongo recalled his favorite coffee shop in Prosser and said everyone there knew his name, his family and his usual drink order. He hopes Manny’s Coffee House patrons will enjoy that same feeling of familiarity.
“College students are coming from out of town,” he said. “They might feel alone away from home, away from their families, but if they come here, we can be that for them. We can be that loving atmosphere that they need so that they don’t feel alone, so that they don’t feel too distant from their families and home.”
In addition to coffee, Manny’s Coffee House will sell breakfast items and baked goods.
Before buying the former Cafe Moro space, Montelongo said he and his father, Lupe Montelongo, looked around Pullman for locations with the initial idea of opening a drive-through.
When they saw the downtown corner destination was available, however, they quickly made a deal with the owner. He said it is an ideal location because of the high volume of traffic that passess and its close location to the WSU campus.
“It’s a good distance to everything,” Montelongo said. “It’s kind of a center point.”
The space is currently undergoing renovations, which have caught the attention of passersby, he said.
Montelongo said he and the shop’s painter, who is a family friend, have already fielded questions from dozens of people asking about the new coffee shop.
“It’s stirred up a lot of curiosity,” he said.
Manny’s Coffee House’s progress can be seen on its Facebook and Instagram pages.