Eclipse Coffee and Books to return to Montevallo as Meri Moon

Published 2:50 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

MONTEVALLO – Eclipse Coffee and Books is set to return to the city of Montevallo in a new form when Meri Moon opens later this year.

Eclipse Coffee and Books closed its doors after 16 years of business on July 27, 2017 but now it’s set to return in a new form when Meri Moon opens in the Strand building on Montevallo Main Street.

“We essentially want to bring back the vibe,” said Rachel Phillips who is partnering with Eclipse owner Cheryl Patton to bring Meri Moon to life. “We wanted to bring a place that college students can come to and the locals can come to (and) just feel comfortable and be able to enjoy and discuss things.”

Phillips previously served as a bartender at the Main Street Tavern in Montevallo for four-and-a-half years and recently Patton approached Phillips with the idea of opening up a coffee shop in Montevallo and the two partnered together to form the new iteration of Eclipse Coffee and Books, entitled “Meri Moon.”

The full menu for the business has not yet been determined but Phillips confirmed that Meri Moon will offer milkshakes, coffee and retail wine and beer. Customers will be able to consume their beverage of choice while lounging around within the store or on the planned outdoor patio seating.

“We’re going to make it comfy, cozy and we’re going to have a spot for professors to come and have meetings, have conferences, whatever they need to do,” Phillips said. “There’s so many different committees in town (and we want to) give them a space that they can go in and meet but also feel comfortable in doing so.”

Phillips said she has been blown away by what Eclipse brought to the community.

“It’s my goal to bring that same feeling back,” she said. “Me and Cheryl both have such a passion for making our customers happy.”

Phillips said the night they made the announcement, she read every comment and afterward told Patton “I have our menu.”

“If people can people can remember their favorite item there, seven years later, we need to have it if we can,” Phillips said. “Customer service is number one, and I hope that people will give us a chance to show them that.”

Meri Moon will mark the third coffee shop to take advantage of the historic Strand building on Montevallo Main Street. Mostly recently, the building housed Baba Java Coffee at the Strand until its closure on Dec. 9, 2023.

The building boasts a rich history of being the spot of many businesses over the years including The Strand movie theater, an apothecary and an art studio. The business still displays The Strand theatre’s old ticket window in the front and the old brick wall bearing an old Durham tobacco advertisement in the back.

Phillips and Patton do not yet have an opening date set but are working to get everything ready for their excited customers.

“We’ve had so many people offer to help in any way they can just to get the vibe back, so I’m appreciative of them and I’m so excited to meet them,” Phillips said.