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Kaya Coffee House will move into The Malt Shop building by April 1

Kaya Coffee House is officially moving to a new location.

Following a successful effort to prevent the rezoning of the former SBX Building — which houses the coffee shop and cafe — the owners of Kaya have worked out a deal to share space with The Malt Shop.

Emily Miller and Abigail Chambers, the co-owners of Kaya, hoped to remain in the former SBX building, Chambers said.

“We want to secure Kaya and give it the most secure future, and in order to do that, we have to move,” she added.

The owners of Kaya were aware that even with the rezoning request denial, they "were still facing an uphill battle,” Chambers said. She confirmed that their landlords, SBX Owners Brad Ballein and John Belco, did not give them the option to re-sign their lease.

The Malt Shop, located at 1088 S. University Ave. is owned by Tim and Jim Otteman and is located directly across the street from the coffee shop. Chambers said The Malt Shop owners offered their space to Kaya in the event the rezoning request had been approved.

“The more it became a realization that we weren’t going to be re-signing our lease, we started talking to The Malt Shop again,” Chambers said. “It just ended up being the right move for us.”

Kaya will close March 30 and will reopen April 1 in the Malt Shop’s “Alumni Room,” Chambers said. The Malt Shop will remain open throughout the process.

The “Alumni Room” is smaller than Kaya’s current location, but the two businesses will maintain their “distinct atmospheres” and both areas will “mesh” together, Chambers said. The owners of Kaya and The Malt Shop are working to organize an opening day event.

In a press release from the owners of both establishments, Otteman said he is thrilled to have two local business share the same space space.

“Not only does it allow Kaya and its loyal customer base to stay vibrant on CMU’s north end it also allows for some exciting partnerships related to entertainment and special events,” Otteman wrote. “We are very happy that they wanted to cross the street and join us.”

Requests for comment from John Belco and Brad Ballein were not immediately returned.