Bishop Arts coffee shop Espumoso Cafe is bringing a touch of the bohemian to a monolithic new medical building on the campus of Baylor University Medical Center. The new coffee shop will open on the street-side level of the new Gaston Medical Office Building, directly across from Baylor at 3417 Gaston Ave.
Espumoso is the quirky coffee shop in Bishop Arts that owner Tony Fernandez opened in 2009. In that artsy neighborhood, the shop functions as a java outpost, with Illy coffee as well as acai bowls, smoothies, and empanadas, made from his mother's Colombian-Venezuelan recipe.
And yet he's already successfully transitioned to an office building environment with the opening of a second Espumoso in the Plaza of the Americas building in 2016. That branch services the downtown worker market with coffee and acai bowls in the morning, and quick, cheap fare for lunch.
The Baylor location will duplicate that worker-bee angle, with a focus on the Baylor community as well as hospital visitors and clientele. The demand for coffee in the area is serious, as anyone who has waited in the drive-through line at the Starbucks on Gaston and Haskell knows all too well.
This is along the same strip of Gaston where Metro Diner and The Petal Pusher flower shop once stood. Nothing can stop the Baylor machine. The new medical building is an ungainly zero-lot structure, but it does have some retail storefronts at street level. Two other restaurants have already opened there: Grabbagreen, the healthy fast-food spot, and a branch of Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
Mitch Campbell, who's helping Fernandez with the build-out of the Gaston space, says that the shop will offer an aesthetic counterpoint with warmth and color.
"The decor incorporates a modern Colombian style that's warm yet minimalist, versus the environment at Baylor where everything is black and white," he says.
But the Baylor location will also include a valuable element from the Bishop Arts branch that the downtown location lacks: lots of cozy seating, so that people can linger.