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AADL Welcomes Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea to Westgate Branch!

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 5:37pm by eli

Library patrons will soon be able to enjoy a delicious cup of fresh coffee or tea as they browse new collections at the expanded Westgate Branch Library!

Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea signed a sublease this week to operate a café adjacent to the Branch when it re-opens in late summer. Lisa Bee, Sweetwaters owner and founder, says, “We are so excited and thrilled to join the AADL family and Westgate. To be a part of the first Ann Arbor library where patrons can enjoy a treat with their favorite book is a great honor.”

According to Library Director Josie Parker, “The Ann Arbor District Library's opportunity to expand in place at the Westgate Shopping Center allows the Library to consider and develop a new and different type of partnership. We are pleased to launch this public/private partnership between the Library and Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea. Sweetwaters opening will coincide with the reopening of the expanded Library in late summer 2016.”

Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea was founded in 1993 by Lisa and Wei Bee in downtown Ann Arbor. Both Wei and Lisa are UM graduates who decided to stay in Ann Arbor, continue their families’ hospitality tradition, and become a part of the Ann Arbor business community.

Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea is a warm, comfortable, coffeehouse that offers a blend of traditional European espresso drinks, globally inspired beverages, beautiful Asian teas, delicious desserts, pastries, and savory treats.

Library Board President Jan Barney Newman adds, “It is with great anticipation that the Trustees of the Library look forward to Sweetwaters presence in the expansion of the Westgate Branch. A gathering place on its own, Sweetwaters will be a great asset to the Library and the Westgate Community. “

The new Westgate Branch expansion adds 16,500 square feet to create a branch with 21,000 square feet for its users. The Branch closed in late November and construction is now underway.

Updates on this project can be found on the library website. For more information, visit westgate.


Will enjoy Sweetwaters café.

I also like the inexpensive vending coffee and tea available in library branches. $0.65 for cup of coffee is a treat.

Good move!

I always thought the West Branch was doomed. I never thought it was going to make such an epic comeback!

We're very excited about the expanded branch, but are wondering if there has been any discussion about the parking situation at Westgate. There a several blind spots. Thanks!


The new Westgate will have two main entrances. One will be on the west side of the building where there is a large, underutilized parking lot. The best access to this area is from the north end of the shopping center and the drive runs behind the shopping center.

Our hope is that when folks find this new place to park, and realize that the Library is a gateway through to the shopping center, concerns about parking will be mitigated.

Thanks for the positive feedback.


Sweetwaters is great, I love their ginger lemon tea, what a fabulous addition for AADL and Westgate Mall!! Looking forward to it.

So very pleased, two of my favorites books and coffee and what a location!!!

I don't remember being more excited about any other Ann Arbor development. The AADL rules! The best library system I've ever encountered. (My comment is about the expansion itself, not necessarily the Sweetwater aspect, although that seems okay to me.)

I am eagerly anticipating the opening of the West branch later this summer and think the addition of Sweetwaters is great. I think it will add upscale ambience. The Ypsilanti District Library has had a coffee shop inhouse for quite some time.

So looking forward to the opening. I've been using the Pittsfield branch which is farther from my home because of cramped quarters of the old Westgate Branch and the parking.

I saw the signs for Sweetwaters and the library going up several weeks ago. I was so excited I took pictures. Can't wait.

Stay tuned! An update comes out next week with some new photos and details. We will be announcing an opening date once construction work has completed, but we are still on track for a late summer opening.


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