A growing North Texas coffee concept continues to expand its Dallas presence: White Rhino Coffee, the community-oriented coffee chain with seven locations in the DFW area, is about to make it eight with its newest shop opening in a high-profile downtown location at 1401 Elm St., aka The National building.
The building is home to The National Residences and the Thompson Dallas hotel. The shop will occupy a storefront on the ground floor, where it will serve residents, hotel guests, and the greater downtown community.
According to White Rhino chief marketing officer Mary O'Connor, it'll open in the fall, hopefully by mid-November.
"It's a great location with the hotel right there, but also in the heart of downtown, right on the DART line, and not far from our corporate headquarters at Ross Tower," O'Connor says. "The building is amazing, and we hope our coffee shop will fit right in."
White Rhino was founded by entrepreneur Chris Parvin in 2007, who opened locations in Cedar Hill, Red Oak, and Waxahachie, before setting his sights on DFW in 2020.
The chain is known for craft coffee, pastries, and Southern bistro food. Their menu includes espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. Signature drinks include the "Mint Condition," with white chocolate, mint, and vanilla. Their food offerings include sandwiches, salads, toasts, bagels, and tacos.
They have locations in Bishop Arts, Arlington, Fort Worth, and Uptown Dallas, where they opened a grand two-story location in the former Londoner Pub space in 2021.
Downtown falls neatly in between Bishop Arts and Uptown. The space has 1,169 square feet, with seating both inside and out.
"It's a small shop, not as large as Uptown, which is our second largest store — Waxahachie is our largest — but having seating is key to our mission with every location we build, to create a community around coffee," O'Connor says. "We always want to have places where people can sit and enjoy their coffee and have a great conversation and come together as a community."
They plan on opening 100 locations in in the next 7-10 years.
"We will absolutely accomplish that in Texas," she says. "We're very data-driven in the way we look at our locations, and we're also responding to feedback from our customers, who tell us where they would like to have us open a location."
Their other big expansion is building their own in-house roasting operation.
"We are in the process of moving into a new location on Fort Worth Avenue, in the Industrial District, which will be our own roaster," she says. "We currently use Tweed for roasting our beans, and they're a wonderful partner, but we're moving towards becoming a full roasting company by the end of year and taking our coffee to retail in 2022."
The roasting location, at 1607 Fort Worth Ave., will also have a small shop in front, for testing and tasting, and serve as a warehouse and commissary for their food preparation, another category in which they've expanded.
"We've been testing and adding some new items like our spicy chicken sandwich, which has been extremely popular, and our acai bowl for breakfast," she says. "Our menu across our stores is the same, featuring quick bites like our chick biscuit and the breakfast tacos, things we're famous for. Our coffee is craft and will always be craft."