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Way Down Yonder Beignets & Coffee to open this month

February 7th, 2022

Way Down Yonder Beignets & Coffee is set to open Downtown on Feb. 15 at 386 E. Main St.

Co-owned by Yonder Miller, who helped manage her mother’s restaurant, Way Down Yonder New Orleans Finest Restaurant on South High Street, the new concept will focus on a popular menu item from the original eatery — the beignets.

The new coffee shop, on the ground floor of the Hilton hotel’s Home2Suites, is co-owned by Miller’s cousin, Rickelle Viney.

Viney said the demand for beignets got to be so much that, during the pandemic, Miller began to consider a separate location dedicated to the deep-fried pastries.

The coffee shop will also have its own signature coffee and continue to serve up New Orleans cuisine, but this time centered around breakfast and brunch items during the first six hours of the day. The remaining hours will be dedicated to beignets.

Yonder Miller, co-owner of Way Down Yonder Beignets & Coffee, in her mother's restaurant in 2017.

The shop has hired recent graduates from Columbus State Community College’s culinary program, who will add their own touches to the menu with daily dessert specials and weekly chef specials. 

“It’ll be exciting for the customers because it’ll be something different all the time — cakes, scones, pies, cookies, what have you,” said Viney.

During a time when staffing has been an issue for restaurants and small businesses, the cafe has decided to utilize technology to get around the current labor shortage.

Customers will be able to use a QR code to order from their phones and receive a text message to pull up to the cafe’s drive-through window for their order. A drive-through attendant will be on hand as well for cash orders or to help assist those unfamiliar with the technology over intercom.

The cafe will not have a cashier inside and instead utilize kiosks at the front for carryout orders and QR codes at each table for dine-in customers.

“We’re hoping that it’ll help us be efficient and also be able to make it through this wave that a lot of businesses are suffering through right now with the lack of employees,” said Viney. “So we can continue to operate even if we are not able to always have the amount of staff members that we need.”

The grand opening is set for Feb. 15 and will include live entertainment.

Viney said the cafe has tentative plans to fly in a popular, authentic second-line band and dancer from New Orleans to perform. And in another New Orleans celebratory tradition, the shop will be giving away coconuts, to the first 50 customers.

The cafe’s hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The cafe will be closed on Sundays.

Seating in the cafe is limited and will require reservations for dine-in until further notice.