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Inman Perk adds its flavorful aroma to Spout Springs library

POSTED: January 6, 2009 1:35 a.m.

Tour Inman Perk at the library

Inman Perk opened a location late in 2008 at the Hall County Library System's Spout Springs branch, which is tucked inside the Sterling on the Lake subdivision off Spout Springs Road. It closed its location in a small strip shopping center off Spout Springs at Holland Dam Road.

Scott Rogers/The Times

Inman Perk Manager Zach Payne prepares an espresso drink Monday afternoon at the coffee house's new location in the Spout Springs Road library branch. The former location of the South Hall Inman Perk was at Spout Springs and Holland Dam Road.

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FLOWERY BRANCH - South Hall library patrons now can get their coffee poured before they pore over books at the Hall County Library System's Spout Springs branch.

Inman Perk opened the location late in 2008 at the library, which is tucked inside the Sterling on the Lake subdivision off Spout Springs Road, and closed its location in a small strip shopping center off Spout Springs at Holland Dam Road.

"A lot of people are really, really receptive to it," said Zach Payne, manager of the coffee shop. "They say, ‘Wow, it seems like such a natural idea; I can't believe you didn't do it sooner.'"

The partnership is a first for the library system. Visit many privately run bookstores, however, and the aroma of coffee beans commonly hits you as you walk in the door.

Inman Perk occupies an area near the front entrance that a library system group, Friends, had used for book sales.

"(Friends had) provided the furniture and different things for that room," said Spout Springs library branch manager Leslie James. "It was just a wait-and-see about the coffee shop."

The library system went through a bidding process to bring in a vendor.

Payne said Inman Perk brought in equipment from the old store and bought new green and blue furniture, but it didn't ditch the ambience.

The old location had a library feel, featuring plenty of reading material. The new location has books on sale - shelved neatly in two wooden bookcases - with a portion of the sales going to Inman Perk and the rest to Friends to benefit the library system.

Patrons can buy coffee and food - the shop hasn't changed its menu - and bring it inside the library, where they can nestle up with a book and read or sit in the enclosed porch and look at the scenery.

"We may limit that away from computers," James said. "We'd like the drinks to have lids, for obvious reasons, but almost everything you get out of their shop has a lid on it anyway. ... We haven't had any issues at all with food in the library."

She said that some people believe the changes go "beyond what a library's function is."

"I disagree. I think it's a great function, providing a service that people want. ... If people want a cup of coffee, then I think it's prudent to supply it."

Patrons also can bring library books into the coffee shop, but only after they have checked them out, James said.

The shop is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The library is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The shop's earlier hours cater to people on the run, from home to office or wherever, and who just need to pick up a cup of Joe.

To accommodate them, Inman Perk features a service window separate from the library entrance.

One of the regulars is Sterling on the Lake resident Andy Henderson, who enjoys coffee with mocha and an occasional bit of whipped cream.

"This is so nice," said the retired Buford educator.

"I'm able to get my cup of coffee, go in, read four or five newspapers, maybe pick up a magazine or two and just enjoy getting out of the house but having something local that is very comfortable and convenient."



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