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Coffee drive-thru blends artistry and science

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What’s Brewing? San Antonio Coffee Roasters has debuted a new drive-thru across from Churchill High School. Nine varieties of java are served. Photo by Collette Orquiz

The owners of a coffee-roasting business say they’re brewing up customer satisfaction with a new drive-thru across from Churchill High School.

What’s Brewing? San Antonio Coffee Roasters, under owners and brothers Sami and Tony Chbeir, debuted in late March at 12054 Blanco Road.

“We want to expand and we want to offer really high-quality coffee drinks in the convenience format,” Sami Chbeir said.

The idea came about in January and by March, when COVID-19 was starting to look like a “national tragedy,” the siblings saw opportunity to keep their employees on the payroll. Many businesses had to shut down their dining rooms to help limit the spread of the novel strain of coronavirus, but not drive-thrus.

In 1979, Roger Chbeir created What’s Brewing? It is now operated and managed by his sons.

Originally from Lebanon, the elder Chbeir was displaced by a civil war in the late 1970s. He ended up in Wichita Falls, then eventually came to San Antonio after a tornado destroyed the family home.

“(He) was kind of driven by his desire to have a piece of his culture from Lebanon,” Sami Chbeir said. “You know where you stand with somebody if they offer you coffee. It’s such a huge part of their daily interactions.”

Churchill is Chbeir’s alma mater, so it made sense to open close to the campus.

Coffee is roasted at their nearby warehouse and cafe, 138 W. Rhapsody Drive. Nine varieties are available at the drive-thru.

Chbeir said the original business is a “no-nonsense” roastery with an old-school approach melding artistry and science.

Coffee drinks range from brewed and espresso to lattes.

In addition, the drive-thru serves smoothies, tea, sandwiches, plantain chips and pastries. Chbeir said the avocado toast has been a huge hit.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

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