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Half Nuts Coffee, Spirits Bar Opens In Havre’s Atrium Mall

The coffee business in Havre is heating up.

Havre business owner Kurt Johnson opened a coffee, beer, wine and spirits bar more than a month ago in the Atrium Shopping Mall.

The Half Nuts All Beverage coffee bar is a collaboration between Johnson, Atrium owners David and Kris Shaw, and Sheila Forshee, who manages the building, including this most recent business. She’s had a real estate and insurance business for years.

Why the name Half Nuts?

Johnson recalled going through the naming process with his wife, writing down potential names, and thinking aloud about what he’d gotten himself into.

“You’d have to be half nuts to do this,” he told his wife.

A light came on, he said, and his wife replied, “That’s it.” And Half Nuts All Beverage was born. And, yes, customers can also buy peanuts with their drink of choice.

Johnson, who owns the Havre bar Vic’s Place, as well as the Budget Inn, said the coffee equipment was bought through the Atrium Mall account from Greg Wood, who closed his coffee business, 2nd Street Baristas, back in April.

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Half Nuts occupies the space of the former Hallmark store. It’s a combination of two visions.

Johnson was tinkering with the idea of putting a bar in the Atrium. Forshee, who says she was looking for ways to stimulate business in the building, suggested to the Atrium owners a coming together of the visions.

“We need to put the liquor with the coffee,” she told the Atrium owners.

Why combine the two?

Oftentimes, Johnson said, there are couples, one of whom drinks, the other of whom enjoys a specialty coffee.

Half Nuts solves that dilemma.

Half Nuts had a soft opening during Festival Days and is now fully staffed.

Customers going to Half Nuts can also buy locally made crafts. In a portion of the space, Forshee operates her own business, Cowboy Montana Coffee and Gifts.

Johnson emphasized that customers can order food from the Grateful Bread, the restaurant one floor down, and enjoy it at Half Nuts. In fact, he added, people can order food from anywhere and eat it at the new coffee bar. Remember to tip the delivery waitresses who bring your food, Forshee added.

During the interview, the two light-heartedly discussed the new business.

“I got this really good hot chocolate,” Forshee said.

Johnson added: “And I got a really good spirit to put in it.”

Email Paul Dragu at (406) 262-7778
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