Sometimes you just wanna grab your mule and serve people coffee, but then the big ole’ government keeps trying to shut you down. That’s what happened to Matt Bishop and his pal Richard the Mule when he was giving away coffee to hikers and bikers along the foothills of Boise, Idaho.

Bishop has been making pour overs via gas stove in the Ridge to Rivers trail system under the moniker Café Mulé since May, but the U.S. Forest Service has been none too pleased about the existence of this renegade pop-up. The 34 year-old ex-Marine faced what the Idaho Statesman dubbed “a string of regulatory hurdles” in order to give away coffee to passers by, going so far as to limit the number of customers he served to 73, two under the maximum for a non-permitted event. Even still, the Forest Service said Café Mulé wasn’t allowed.

But thanks to the generosity of some private citizens, Café Mulé will get to remain in Ridge to Rivers and without any red tape. Two owners of the land around the trail system have given Bishop permission to set up in three different locations throughout Ridge to Rivers. And because he is on private land, there is no cap on the number of customers Bishop can serve. He can even start receiving tips. Chalk one up for the good guys.

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It’s just another example of the power of the private citizen taking down the bureaucratic tyranny of Big Brother in the U.S. Forest Service. If a person wants to load up a mule and go serve coffee, I say let them. Because there is nothing more industriously and individualistically American than an ex-Marine bucking the system by starting a business in beautiful Idaho. With a mule. USA! USA!

For more information on where Bishop and Richard the Mule will be serving coffee next, visit Café Mulé’s website.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.


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