As Memories Abound, Mocha House Celebrates 25 Years

WARREN, Ohio – Victoria Rush can still remember where she and future husband, Carlos, sat during one of their first dates at the Mocha House in Warren. “It was at that table right over there,” she said, pointing at it.

They’ve been married for nearly 24 years.

“I loved the food so much that I wanted to work here, so I applied and worked here for a number of years,” Rush said.

Those are just some of the memories that customers related as the Mocha House celebrated 25 years in business on Friday.

In 1992, as recent college graduates, Nick Liakaris and Bill Axiotis, brought the concept of the big city coffee shop to Warren. “It was scary,” Liakaris recalled. “We weren’t sure if it was going take.” Customers weren’t familiar with the now-ubiquitous specialty drinks.

“At first, it was kind of a big surprise,” Axiotis said, but the concept of mochas and lattés quickly caught on in Warren. “We brought in the mochas and all of the specialty drinks, so we were the first in Trumbull County and Mahoning County.”

In 2002, the Boardman Mocha House opened and, in the time since, have added a 150-seat patio to the original café.

“My father owned this building,” Liakaris said. “He had an empty building, we were looking for jobs, so we just got together and did something for ourselves.”

Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda read a proclamation from the mayor and the Trumbull County Commissioners celebrating the anniversary. “You’ll always see a lot of people here,” Fuda said, “whether it’s a Saturday morning or a work day, there are people who come in that appreciate the fine food and drinks they have here.”

Heather Buck, a Mocha House regular, was on hand with some colleagues for the anniversary festivities. “I’ve been coming to the Mocha House pretty consistently for the past four years,” she said. “It’s very close to where I work, so it’s a good place to come for lunch, and they’re very fast and efficient. And the food’s delicious.”

Axiotis and Liakaris expanded into the banquet business when they opened the Hippodrome Banquet Center in downtown Warren in late 2008. “We took over a building that had been vacant for three or four years, renovated it and transformed it into a banquet facility,” Liakaris said.

The business partners also acquired the Chase Tower in downtown Warren in 2013, but they haven’t neglected the Mocha House, either, Liakaris said.

“We’re growing here, too. We plan on expanding our bakery, kitchen,” he said. “We have a lot of things going on in our future. We want to be in Warren and be a part of the community for a long time.”

Pictured: The Axiotis and Likaris families are joined by Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda to celebrate The Mocha House’s 25th anniversary.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.