Downtown cafe The Artist’s Cup switches ownership

After two years on the market, The Artist’s Cup Café in downtown Meadville sold, allowing the current owner to finally buy her flight tickets for a long-awaited move to Australia.
Chris Burchard and Carol Knowblow, the new owners, spent roughly a month getting to know the employees, learning how to work with them and becoming familiar with the ins and outs of the business.
The staff, menu and hours of operation are set to stay the same both through the transition process once the new owners take over.
“It was really nice,” said Robin Mitchell, the current owner of The Artist’s Cup, “the lenders […] said, ‘You’re going to keep it the same, right?’  and [Burchard and Knowblow] said, ‘Yes, of course.’ That was going to be the most important thing.”
Employees are expecting, however, an increase in the number of hours they work.
“My understanding is we’re going to be picking up some more hours because Robin used to work huge chunks throughout the week and now she obviously won’t be here,” said Courtney Miller, who has worked at The Artist’s Cup for a little over a year. “We have to pick up the slack.”
Mitchell became the owner of The Artist’s Cup in 2004 after spending 15 months as the café’s manager. Her vision of an Internet café that combines art and music helped shape much of what The Artist’s Cup is today.
“In 2004 I was handed this and [it] was not exactly what I wanted,” said Mitchell. “There’s not a stove, there’s a lot of things that aren’t in my original plan, and I had to think outside the box. It was like water on a rock, I just leaned one way and eventually it happened.”
Although Mitchell said that some of her fondest memories are The Artist’s Cup, she is very excited for her move, which will allow her to be with an Australian man whom she met while working.
“Oddly enough, after I bought the café, […] this gentleman came up and started talking to me with this Australian accent,” she said. “It was a course of a year and a few e-mails before I got to see him again and he asked me out to dinner a year later and here we are.”
Many Allegheny students who frequent The Artist’s Cup, particularly to participate in open mic night, hope that the café won’t change too much under the new owners.
“It’s something that me and my friends look forward to every Saturday,” said Kyle Cruse, ’13. “I guess I could only hope that whoever purchases it keeps up the tradition that The Artist’s Cup has made combining both art and cuisine under one house.”
Mitchell also has concerns that the current atmosphere of The Artist’s Cup will not remain the same.
“I hope that they keep the music, and the original artists, and musicians, and poets,” she said. “I hope that they always make a home here.”