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The Roast garners fans in opening weekend

Gabe Farmer, Democrat Correspondent • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM

A new nonprofit coffee shop started by the Salvation Army opened to the public on South Maple Street. 

The Roast is described as a café, a community and a place for nightlife in the Lebanon area. Open from 6 p.m. until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and featuring live music, The Roast organizers hope to be a spot for locals to spend their nights hanging out with friends, meeting new people or just relaxing.

All profits generated at The Roast will go toward funding projects and services that provide for those in need through The Salvation Army of Wilson County. The Roast hopes to generate these profits through the sale of their fully stocked coffee shop, which only uses fair-trade certified organic coffee beans.

“I don’t think there has really been anything like The Roast in Lebanon before, so I’m really excited to see how it grows,” said owner Tom Freeman. 

Roast employees are hopeful and ready to see what comes of their venture. 

 “We’re right off of Cumberland’s campus, so I’m hoping to see a lot of those students come and hang out here for some night life,” said employee Rachel Freeman.

The Roast’s grand opening Friday featured a free donut or cupcake with the purchase of any of drink, as well as their debut musical guests, Tal and Acacia and Boothill and the Paramount Ship, who started playing at 9 p.m.

Much like its blended drinks, The Roast hopes to blend the atmosphere of a café with the atmosphere of a club, and feedback from customers showed how locals felt about the combination.  Nearly every seat in The Roast was full Friday and the event generated Facebook posts on The Roasts’ page such as “Spent some time here tonight with friends… great vibe, kickin’ music… can’t wait to get back” and “What a great night. The drinks were scrumptious.”

The employees of The Roast hope to continue to generate enthusiasm for their nonprofit café among their customers and the community as they proceed to service the community. 

Rachel Freeman also said The Roast is willing to work with any local organizations or groups to provide the new coffee shop as a place to hold events. 

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