May 3, 2022

Strange Brew Coffeehouse to Remove Monumental Sign Due to City Ordinance

Nicole McCardle

Businesses in Starkville are being directed to redesign their street signage after a city ordinance from 2011 finally reached a deadline.

The ordinance was approved by the board of aldermen in 2011, stating that all pole signs throughout the city must come down and in turn can be replaced with a strictly-coded monument sign.

For some businesses this may be a good chance to have a fresh start, a brand new sign, a nicer aesthetic.

But for others, it will remove a historical and charming entity within the community: The Strange Brew Coffeehouse Sign.

The Strange Brew Coffeehouse sign has gained national recognition for being a welcoming, encouraging, and comedically passive-aggressive messaging board.

Darkhorse Press reached out to the owner of Strange Brew, Shane Reed, who has been able to connect with the Starkville community through the sign.

In his message he states:

“It sucks! Lol. Seriously, it’s just unfortunate that so many businesses have to waste money & resources during a pandemic & economic downturn for no good reason. We didn’t even know about the ordinance until this past October & have been working on ways to save not only our sign but other business owner’s signs as well. Of course everyone’s signs mean something to them but we felt & hoped that the Brew sign was part of the community. It was less of an advertising tool for us & more of a creative way to make people smile, have community announcements, bring a sense of pride to MSU/Starkville & just make days better. It was our social media before social media existed. 

We’ve had so much positive support from people today & that’s been great. We abided by the city’s decision & removed the sign today but bc of this ordinance & some recent interactions with the city we’ve also made decisions of our own. I’ve always wanted to open a dine-in movie theater, putt putt & entertainment center & other businesses in Starkville but that won’t happen now. We’ll go somewhere that’s more inviting for small businesses. 

A version of the sign will return but it won’t be the same & bc of restrictions it won’t be as easy to see. We’ll do our best to continue to make days better & help get the word out for people & organizations that don’t have a big voice on the new one though!” 

So, the sign isn’t gone forever; Strange Brew will just have to find a little different way to spread the joy.

See some of the famous Strange Brew signage here: 





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