It's little wonder that Eddie Kanon's ambitious plans for Maxwells Brew coffeehouse and restaurant near University of Toledo include opening 24 hours a day.
He appears to have been working almost around the clock since he arrived in the United States from his native Palestine in 1996. He and his second cousin Junior Elder bought the business and the Maxwells name last month from Gary Jacob and Abe Abouahmed, who had operated it in partnership for 10 years.
Within two years, Mr. Kanon predicted, the 200-seat restaurant at Bancroft Street and Westwood Avenue will produce annual sales of $1 million.
By next month he and his partner plan to offer a full breakfast menu. The business, which has been open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., has served only pastries and coffee for breakfast.
He wants to give away 1,000 T-shirts emblazoned with the Maxwells Brew logo and then offer free coffee refills to anyone wearing the shirt. “Sure, I'd wear the shirt,” said Chris Diaz, a Medical College of Ohio student, when told of the plan.
Mr. Kanon wants to maintain the reputation that has made regulars out of customers such as Geoff Braun, a mechanical engineering student at UT.
“Most of the time it's pretty quiet,” said Mr. Braun, who like many students takes homework to the restaurant.
Mr. Kanon hopes to build up student business by promoting his acceptance of UT's Rocket debit card, even though the university claims 10 percent of each transaction, compared with credit card companies which take about 1 percent.
Maxwells, the owners predicted, could yield a steady income even in a recession, unlike their other business, Road Runners Wholesale, Inc. That Detroit business imports clothes, shoes, and other items from Asia and sells them to U.S. wholesalers. Road Runners sales last year were down by 50 percent compared with 2000 and will fall even more if there is a war, Mr. Kanon said.
The second cousins are sold on Toledo, Mr. Kanon said. They're looking for a warehouse for Road Runners locally and have dreams of renovating downtown buildings into 30 to 50 condominiums.
The men who sold Maxwells also have plans. Mr. Jacob is renovating a former furniture building, near Fifth Third Field at Summit and Perry streets, into a 500-seat hall and condos on the upper floors. Mr. Abouahmed plans to open a 90-seat restaurant on South Reynolds Road in the formerOur Place Restaurant & Lounge.