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The Mill – a Lincoln favorite for coffee and conversation – now comes in four shapes and sizes. But there is one thing all four locations have in common, besides the popular java.

Staying power.

And by that, I mean owners Dan and Tamara Sloan want you to stay a while.

“We have a different model than a lot of other coffee places,” Dan said. “They’re interested in getting you in, getting you served and getting you out.

“We’ve got soft seating. We’ve got games. We’ve got things to keep you around. That’s just a little bit different model.”

With many different stories.

“I remember a story where a woman was going through a scary medical procedure where she was in one of those machines that had her all trapped and what-not,” Dan recalled. “She recruited a friend to come and sit with her when she was going to do it, and he was doing visualization while she was in there. They kind of verbally hung out at The Mill while she was in there.

“For her, that was one of the safest places she could be.”

So which Mill is your safe place?

Is it No. 1 – The Mill Coffee & Tea in the Haymarket, which opened in 1988? (That one, by the way, has origins dating to 1975 as part of a bike shop.)

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Or No. 2 – The Mill Coffee & Tea at College View, which opened in 2001?

Or is it one of the two new locations (2017): The Mill Coffee & Bistro at Nebraska Innovation Campus, or The Mill Coffee & Tea at Telegraph (21st and Capitol Parkway)?

“In both the Innovation Campus and Telegraph cases,” Dan said, “the developers approached us because they thought what we brought to the table was something that would really benefit the development.”

And the Sloans wanted to bring something special to the two new locations, so they did some strategic soul-searching.

“The one at Innovation Campus is maybe a little more polished, but I think that works in that research and university environment,” Dan said. “I’ve had my eye on that (Telegraph) building for years – somebody had to do something with that. It is the coolest building. That one is just like coming home. We just fit into that space so comfortably.”

The two new locations also offer wine and beer and event space. There are no plans for a fifth Mill at the moment. Right now, the Sloans are focused on the four places they have and making sure customers feel at home and want to stay a while, regardless of the location.

“It’s not good enough to just produce a good cup of coffee,” he said. “You have to present well. You have to care about the people and let them know you care about them.”

For more information, visit millcoffee.com.

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