How about some coffee with that beer? Featured

9:57am EDT July 22, 2002

The new general manager of John Harvard’s Brew House in Monroeville discovered quickly that the restaurant had a bit of an image problem. But it didn’t take him long to turn that problem into an effective grass-roots marketing opportunity.

The problem, says John Longo, who began running the restaurant in February, is that some people think Brew House means coffee house — not microbrew pub, as the restaurant’s Boston-based owners intended. He realized the problem when a woman walked in on a recent Saturday morning before the restaurant opened for the day and asked for a cup of cappuccino.

“I told her this was a microbrew pub that served beer, and she said that’s not what the sign says,” Longo recalls.

Instead of sending her on her way, Longo says he summoned his chef to whip up a cappuccino for the woman, who was prepared to leave in a huff. While she sipped her drink, Longo told her about the restaurant and everything it offers. Eventually she left, clutching a coupon for a free appetizer for the next time she comes for lunch or dinner.