Established café rebrands itself with new name and improved menu in historic downtown Clare

At just 19 years old, Clare native Morgan Humphrey decided to reopen an old coffee shop in her hometown, establishing the Heart of Michigan Café in 2015.

Humphrey transformed the business from a coffee shop to a café, expanding the menu and eventually obtaining a liquor license. Since then, not only has the menu expanded, but the business itself, too.

Located in the same historic building in downtown Clare, Humphrey added the Venue at 501, an events space for weddings, receptions, and other gatherings, and the Upper Rooms sleep suites to her stable of businesses.

Combined, the three businesses make up what Humphrey is calling the 500 District. To better reflect that vision, Humphrey has decided to rebrand her original café. Beginning Thursday, July 18, with a sign-hanging ceremony at 6 p.m., the Heart of Michigan Café will become the 505 Café.

"I never imagined it would take off to be this big, I’m so excited," Humphrey says.

"It’s kind of like starting over again but now I have a lot more help. We have an awesome team. I’m excited to see where it goes from here."

Fans of the original café should be comforted to know that much of their favorite aspects of the establishment will remain. There will be several menu additions, however, including handcrafted sodas, signature cocktails, Michigan wines, housemade desserts, and locally-sourced bread, cheese, and coffee.

A rebrand launch party is planned for Thursday, July 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature samples of new food and drink items from the menu as well as live entertainment. The event is free and open to the public.

"I’ve seen Clare grow a bit, and hopefully this brings even more people downtown," Humphrey says.

"I was just in Fishtown and thought, one day Clare will be like this, where we become a destination. We’re centrally located; everyone has to come through Clare. I talk about it all the time. It’s going to happen."

The 505 Café is located at 505 N. McEwan St. in downtown Clare.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

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