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Friars open storefront at Northgate Mall
COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Paula Toti) -- A new storefront has popped up at Northgate Mall and nothing is being sold. Franciscan Friars are staffing the place and just spreading cheer.
The coffee cups have a message about god but there is no pressure when you come inside.
The door to the store outside Macy's has been opening, and the coffee brewing, since Black Friday, which the friars call Brown Friday, for their traditional robes.
Father Jeff Scheeler says the response has been incredibly positive.
A shopper, Kathy Schinkal, says they just offered coffee and there was no pressure. She and another woman thought they might go back to drop a note in the prayer bowl.
People have asked for prayers on health or job loss. Many people have stopped by to talk about rejoining the church.
Father Jeff says people have been intrigued by Pope Francis and his openess, and have asked about combing back to the catholic church.
Not all visits have been so serious. For some it's just a nice place to stop after performing in a choir for some hot chocolate or cookies. They are intentionally not selling anything at the store. It's an alternative to the other mall activities. Father Jeff says "a place to rest and relax".
The mall has offered the space free of charge. The friars will be there Monday through Friday 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Noon to 9pm Saturday. Noon to 6:00 Sunday and leaving at 3:00 Christmas Eve.