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LEAD | Somehow, an underground coffee shop makes sense for the historic mining community of Lead.

Tyke Mohr believes that, recently opening Java Joint Coffee at 145 Glendale St.

The coffee shop isn’t actually underground, of course, although it is situated under the Ace Hardware store in the old Twin City Mall building.

Mohr was born in Deadwood, raised in Phoenix, Ariz., and became familiar with the town of Lead when he returned to the Black Hills to attend college at Black Hills State University.

He noted something missing when he came back to Lead.

“There was less for kids in this area to do,” he said.

The desire to give something back to the community was impetus for opening Java Joint, which features the full range of coffee and espresso drinks, along with free Wifi, comfy chairs and couches, books for loan, and chess and other games, in an eclectically decorated space.

A dark ambience does impart an underground atmosphere.

“There’s tons of things in here for people to do,” he said.

Mohr drew his inspiration for Java Joint from the proliferation of non-corporate coffee shops in the heavily-caffeinated Pacific Northwest.

“Places like Starbucks, Tully’s, Seattle’s Best, they’re just turn-and-burn,” Mohr said, in reference to their serving a lot of customers as quickly as possible.

“I offer someplace for people to sit down and have a conversation,” he said.

Java Joint opened in early September, along with coffees and espressos, Mohr also features homemade milkshakes, with more than 50 flavors available.

A $2 milkshake special last weekend drew a “steady flow” of customers, he said.

He said he’s pleased to be bringing more choices to the community as one of several new enterprises in town in recent months.

“Businesses are popping here,” he said.

Sturgis hardware expanding, rebranding

Bill Bregar, owner of Ace Hardware stores in Lander and Powell, Wyo., along with Rapid City, Lead, and Custer, recently added another store, the former Do It Best Hardware on Junction Ave. in Sturgis.

The store will not only rebrand under the Ace Hardware banner, but will also expand into the space formerly occupied by NAPA Auto Parts, which moved further south on Junction earlier this year.

The expansion will essentially double the space, and Bregar plans to fill it with full Ace Hardware lines, including the addition of Tregar Grills, Craftsman Tools and Yeti Coolers, along with bringing the Ace Rewards program to the store.

He’s also planning to double the sales staff as well.

Bregar hopes to have the expansion and restocking done soon after the first of the year.

“We’ll do the best we can. We’re going to stuff it to the gills,” he said of the expanded store.

“I like to offer as much as possible to keep folks from having to leave town to find what they need,” he said.

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