Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee has just opened its first retail coffee bar in the Boston market, adjacent to its third training lab facility on the East Coast.
The 1,500-square-foot retail space, located at 810 Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown, is the first Intelligentsia to offer on-site parking, and features a mix of built-in seating, tucked-away nooks and vintage European furniture opposite its long coffee bar, upon which a La Marzocco Strada AV sits for espresso and a Grindmaster Cecilware Barista Series Urn provides quicker grab-and-go brewed coffee.
Boston-based Forge Baking Company provides fresh pastries, and the new shop also offers a “chef’s table” feature, where manual brews including V60, Chemex, Cafe Solo and Kalita Wave are performed in a more intimate and interactive setting between baristas and patrons. The café interior, designed by Los Angeles-based firm Bestor Architecture, is intended to reflect Watertown’s industrial history with a combination of cool concrete and warm, natural wood elements.
“We are overwhelmed at the welcome we have received in Watertown and are delighted to join the incredible culinary scene in Boston,” James McLaughlin, President and CEO at Intelligentsia Coffee, told Daily Coffee News.
The 1,100-square-foot training center is next door at 818 Mt. Auburn Street, providing educational services to wholesale clients, other area professionals and the public, as well.
The Boston openings constitute more big moves in what has been a busy year for Intelligentsia — which was acquired by JAB Holding Company-owned Peet’s Coffee in 2015 — in ways both high profile and behind the scenes. In the past seven months, the company has launched cold brew sales for wholesale customers, revamped its website with new interactive features, remodeled both its Silver Lake location in Los Angeles and its Monadnock bar in Chicago, and opened its San Francisco Roasting Works and Training Lab.
Intelligentsia now operates six coffee shops in Chicago, three in Los Angeles, and one each in New York and Boston, along with roasteries in Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco, and wholesale training labs in New York, Boston and Atlanta.
The company is continuing to seek new retail expansion opportunities in additional U.S. cities, as well as further possibilities in its existing Chicago, Los Angeles and now Boston markets. The Intelligentsia Watertown coffee bar opened to the public on July 19.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.