A South County spot is a favorite with fans of 'The Bachelor.' And coffee lovers.

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Consider, for a second, how far would you drive for a special cup of coffee?

Was it more or less than 2,000 miles?

That’s about how far one fan of the reality series “The Bachelor” drove – from Denver, Colorado, to South County Commons in South Kingstown – to get a cup of coffee and some food at Audrey’s Coffee House & Lounge.

It wasn’t only about the coffee though. It was also about a chance to meet the owners: former "Bachelor" star Jared Haibon, who owns the coffee shop with his wife, former "Bachelor" contestant Ashley Iaconetti.

“They created an entire road trip with the goal of coming to Audrey’s,” Haibon said. “It’s completely flabbergasting to me that people would actually do that and take that much time out of their life to visit our business. It means a lot, and it’s something I’ll never take for granted.”

A customer chats with the barista at Audrey's Coffee House & Lounge in South Kingstown, owned by two married veterans of "The Bachelor" franchise.
A customer chats with the barista at Audrey's Coffee House & Lounge in South Kingstown, owned by two married veterans of "The Bachelor" franchise.

The 'Bachelor' stars behind Audrey’s Coffee House

In 2015, Haibon, a Rhode Island native, was a contestant on season 11 of “The Bachelorette,” making it to week 8.

He came back to the franchise for season 2 of "Bachelor in Paradise," when he met Iaconetti, who had been on season 19 of “The Bachelor.” The two ended up splitting in week 5 of “Bachelor in Paradise” but three years later the pair returned to "Bachelor in Paradise," dating to “co-host” the show. But really, it was a ruse for Haibon to propose on the same beach where they'd met, cameras rolling once again.

It’s one of the sweetest stories in "The Bachelor" franchise.

Haibon, whose first job was at Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille as a busboy, always wanted to have his own restaurant in Rhode Island. After a few years of living in Los Angeles, they had the chance to move to Lil’ Rhody and start looking around for a restaurant location.

When he saw that the old Brewed Awakening spot in South County Commons was open – a spot where he used to bring his books and study when he was commuting to Rhode Island College, he thought that could be the spot.

“I’ve always love coffee,” Haibon said. “One of my favorite places ever is Main Street Coffee in East Greenwich. I love the idea of a coffee shop that turns into a martini bar at night.”

Far enough away to not be direct competition for Main Street Coffee, he decided to create something like that.

What 'Bachelor' Easter eggs will you find at Audrey’s?

As a reference point for the type of space they wanted to create, Haibon and Iaconetti have compared Audrey’s to the Central Perk coffee shop in “Friends” (they almost ordered an exact replica of the sitcom's couch, but it was way too expensive, Haibon said), to “Cheers” and even to Dunkin'.

“When you walk into a Dunkin' somewhere and there’s always like those five or six older guys that come in all the time, and they’re just talking about stories, or the news, or anything, everything,” Haibon said. “They just meet for coffee all the time. That’s what I wanted to create at Audrey’s.”

On a random Thursday morning, that scene plays out as a small group of guys talk in the corner, college students study and a barista chats with one of the regulars.

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But, they also wanted the spot to be a bit of a tribute to “The Bachelor,” a show they feel they owe a lot to.

“It’s given us so much in our lives. We love being a part of 'The Bachelor.' We wear it as a badge of honor,” Haibon said. Plus, “we’re going to use any leverage we have to create a successful business. We’d be crazy if we didn’t.”

To that end, there are little nods to the show all over the restaurant.

A rose motif in the decor at Audrey's Coffee House & Lounge is a nod to "The Bachelor" TV shows where the two owners met and fell in love.
A rose motif in the decor at Audrey's Coffee House & Lounge is a nod to "The Bachelor" TV shows where the two owners met and fell in love.

One, there’s a strong rose motif, in homage to the show. The apostrophe in Audrey’s is a rose and there’s a rose mural. The evening menu is called "After the Final Rose."

Two, they do a lot of collaborations with other "Bachelor" contestants. The coffee, for example, is Generous Coffee, which is owned by "Bachelor" alum Ben Higgins. They sell tomato sauce by Joe Amabile, an alum of the show perhaps better known as Grocery Store Joe. And they do meet-and-greets with former contestants.

Take a look: Do you remember these Rhode Islanders who were on reality television shows?

And three, Haibon works at Audrey's just about every day, which is a big draw for fans of the show. As long as he isn’t in the middle of making someone’s sandwich order, he’s happy to take a picture.

“I’m more than willing to take a picture,” Haibon said. “The idea that someone would come to Audrey’s and spend their money to support us, the least I could do is say hello and take a picture.”

What to order at Audrey’s

The turkey, bacon and avocado sandwich, left, and the Autumn Sunrise breakfast sandwich are two of the recommendations of owner Jared Haibon at Audrey's Coffee House & Lounge in South Kingstown.
The turkey, bacon and avocado sandwich, left, and the Autumn Sunrise breakfast sandwich are two of the recommendations of owner Jared Haibon at Audrey's Coffee House & Lounge in South Kingstown.

Ultimately, Audrey’s is a restaurant, so the food has to be good.

Here’s what Haibon recommends, depending on the time of day you come in:

  • Breakfast: Get one of their breakfast sandwiches made with bagels from Providence Bagel Company, and more specifically, the Wake Up or the Autumn Sunrise. “I’m not going to lie, I think they’re absolutely incredible,” he said. “I have one every day.”

  • Lunch: The best seller is a turkey, bacon and avocado sandwich that is “straight to the point,” he said. Haibon is partial to the caprese they recently added to the menu, which he described as “awesome.”

  • Dinner: Audrey’s doesn’t do a full dinner menu, instead offering lighter dishes they call After the Final Rose. On that menu, he recommends trying one of the house-made dips, either the Buffalo Chicken Dip or the Spinach Artichoke Dip.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Audrey’s Coffee House + Lounge pays homage to Bachelor Nation