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Caffeine, Community, and Culture

In the relatively short time the Ugly Mug Bean and Brew has been open, its influence on the culture of the Cleveland community is prominent. From wine drinkers, to coffee gurus, to beer drinkers, everyone is welcome.

“We try to accommodate a  little bit of everyone,” says Kaitie McLaughlin, barista at Ugly Mug.

The cozy coffee shop serves a variety of drinks, from iced to frozen to hot coffee, even shots of espresso, the options are seemingly endless. Not only are the drinks up to par, but the atmosphere is as well. Music is always playing, workers always friendly.

“The staff loves to joke around, just have a good time,” says Kaitie. “Whenever we have a customer come in and they’re frowning, our goal is to make them smile by the time they leave.”


Besides being a great place to hangout at and study, catch up with an old friend, or even just get your daily caffeine fix, the Ugly Mug provides entertainment as well. Thursdays are “Open Mic Night”, featuring a variety of local bands and poets who get to perform in front of small crowds. These nights are peak nights for the coffee shop, drawing in people from the Cleveland community as well as downtown Raleigh residents looking for an interesting place to hang.




While pleasing the coffee drinkers of the area, Ugly Mug also provides a beautiful glimpse of the diverse culture of Johnston County.



“People come here for all different reasons, that’s what a culture is. Ultimately, a culture is something everyone partakes in and I think a little bit of everyone partakes in coffee, so a little bit of everyone partakes in Ugly Mug.”

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Caffeine, Community, and Culture