Located at the base of the John Muir Historic Route to Yosemite National Park, in the Gold Rush era town of Coulterville (intersection of Highways 49 and 132), Mary Lou’s Cup of Brew, is a small, family run coffee shop that features a wide variety of hot and cold coffee drinks, as well as ice cream, a small but yummy variety of sandwiches and coffee cakes. Founded just one year ago, Melynda Morey, the owner/operator, added coffee cake, then a few amazingly great sandwiches. When the weather turned cold and people were heading up the mountain for some snowshoeing and winter adventures in the park, she added some instantly popular “homemade” soups and stews to her menu. Then this spring as the sunshine came out early and strong, she started experimenting with some salads. Items are available to eat both on the premises, including a few tables on the wooden boardwalk out front or to go for those who want to picnic in the mountains.
Honey and locally made jams as well as hand crafted puppets and a few other local craft items are also available. Maps and brochures are also on hand to assist folks that arrive in town when the Visitor’s Center is not open.
Mary Lou’s is housed on Main St. in one of the many historic registered buildings. The original Gazzolo Store sign still can be seen on the front of the building. This building survived three major fires that swept the town between 1849 and 1899, each 20 years apart as well as a major flood in the early 1900’s.
Owner and proprietor Melynda Morey has lived in Coulterville for more than a decade, growing up in Oakdale, just 40 miles away. She named the shop in honor of her grandmother, Mary Louise McCubbin, whose family has lived in the area since the gold rush era.
In addition to her “homemade” soups, sandwiches and salads made fresh daily on the premises, both locals and travelers can select from a wide variety of made-to-order, old fashioned shakes and malts, the best tasting cappuccino this side of Italy, sodas and assorted coffee drinks, including her specialty, the GOLD RUSH.
Melynda’s husband, Chris, helps out when not in school, and her oldest teenage son, CJ, will soon be working there during summer break. Her younger teenaged son, Branden, who was elected as Coulterville’s first Honorary Deputy Mayor, can often be found on weekends meeting and greeting folks and giving them directions to the towns many other historical sites.
Mary Lou’s instantly became a hub for the little community of Coulterville, sitting between the only post office within 30 miles in any direction and the John Muir Geotoruism Center, located in another historic building. Its location, in the Main St. Historic District of a town that time forgot, makes it a wonderful meeting place for both locals and travelers exploring the various gold rush towns that still dot Highway 49, named in honor of the 49’rs, or traveling up the scenic route to Yosemite’s northern entrance.