Barista Kathy Billings, right, waits on a customer behind the counter of the newly renovated Java Jive coffee house Thursday, March 17, 2016, in downtown Hannibal, Mo. Long known for its specialty coffees, Java Jive also serves a variety of sandwiches, wraps, soups and baked goods. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson Phil Carlson
Kitchen worker Rebecca Klecan ladles soup for a customer order Thursday, March 17, 2016, at Java Jive in downtown Hannibal, Mo. Long known for its specialty coffees, Java Jive also serves a variety of sandwiches, wraps, soups and baked goods. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson Phil Carlson
Baristas Liza Perez, left, and Jordan Louderman serve up espressos, cappuccinos and lattes Thursday, March 17, 2016, at Java Jive in downtown Hannibal, Mo. The popular coffee house recently underwent a weeklong renovation project. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson Phil Carlson
HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Owner Katy Ayers-Welch said recent renovations have done more than brighten up the interior of Java Jive in downtown Hannibal.
A new floor plan and a separate kitchen area at the rear of the coffee shop gives customers more room to relax and gives employees more space to prepare sandwiches, soups and drinks."We used to have so many people doing so many different things, so it spreads the staff out more, gives them more room to work and makes us a little bit more efficient," Ayers-Welch said.Construction crews and Java Jive employees worked the week of Feb. 21 to give the coffee shop its first major overhaul since it opened in 2000. Staff painted walls and contractors laid new tile over original wood floors that had seen a couple of floods -- and better days."My dad and husband (Casey) just really didn't want to see it go, and actually we didn't remove it, we just covered it up," Ayers-Welch said of the wood flooring. "It was time."Light from a wall of windows at the front of the building now reflects off the tile, helping to brighten the whole shop. A new cabinet arrangement has also made taking orders and preparing drinks more efficient.Ayers-Welch also noted the area south of Java Jive, formerly known as Fresh Ayers, has been converted into "living room" seating with couches and chairs. More tables have also been added."Everybody's really excited," she said. "Our regulars are all trying to find their new comfort spots."Ayers-Welch noted her parents, Steve and Linn Ayers, are among the people pleased with the renovation. Steve and Linn opened Java Jive 16 years ago and handed the reins over to Ayers-Welch in 2009. In January, Ayers-Welch made her ownership official when they legally separated companies."For them, this really felt like handing over the torch," she said. "Now they say this is really may baby. Without really intending to or planning on it, I really made it my own."Once staff gets resettled, Ayers-Welch hopes to look at expanding menu options to include paninis and warm sandwiches. She added more renovations and online ordering are in the future.