Future Favorites: Opus Coffee to Open New Location Downtown
If you’re a coffee lover and believe there can never be too many coffee shops in Gainesville, then you are in good company with the owners of Opus Coffee.
Opus coffee, a business that is housed in University of Florida hospitals, is opening two new locations. This brings their total to six coffee shops around Gainesville.
One of the new shops will be opening in December at 1505 SW Archer Road in the building housing the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospitals in UF Health Shands. The other will be its first permanent non-hospital location opening June 2018.
The new shop will be in downtown Gainesville at 405 SW Fourth Ave., said Tim Larson, co-owner of Opus Coffee.
He said that he and his brother Bret Larson, the other co-owner, used to work in a coffee shop in a hospital and loved the fast-paced environment. So, they decided to start their own version of the business.
“There was one morning when we just looked at each other,” Larson said. “It was a busy rush and we were taking care of all the business and we decided that we could do this ourselves.”
Opus coffee is known for roasting its own coffee, and their search for a new location began when they wanted to find a place to hold their roaster. Then, they bought the building next door and decided to add another shop to their growing list.
“We found that property between downtown and UF and the original idea was just to roast there, and do our operations there like back-office operations,” Larson said. “But then we bought the building next door, and now we’ve gotten other tenants involved.”
The new store will maintain the things that customers already love about Opus Coffee, along with adding some new products that they have been experimenting with at the farmers market, Larson said. Two of these new drinks include nitro cold-brew coffee and nitro iced tea.
“Both of those are brewed overnight at room temperature and then they’re infused with nitrogen,” Larson said. “If you haven’t had the nitro iced tea it’s amazing, it’s really good.”
Larson said that the nitro iced tea is a product that’s unique to Opus Coffee in Gainesville and he doesn’t know anyone else who’s serving it.
They are going to begin serving fancier, more “cocktail-like” drinks along with beer— items that they are unable to serve now, he said. There will even be a beer garden area connected to the downtown location for customers to enjoy their drinks.
For now, the bad news is that customers can’t stop by the new coffee shop for a cup until next year. However, the good news is that they are opening alongside several other Gainesville favorites.
Larson said that many other familiar names are going to be joining Opus Coffee to create what he calls the “Fourth Avenue Food Park.” Some of the shops in the plaza will include Humble Wood Fire (AKA. Humble Pie), Cilantro Taco, BakerBaker and Fehrenbacher’s Artisan Sausages.
The restaurants in the food park are going to work together to landscape between the buildings, Larson said. He’s excited for Opus Coffee and its partners to try to preserve the buildings there.
“We’re revitalizing these old buildings that were built in the ’50s that are really—I don’t want to say ‘classic Gainesville’—but we’re preserving, Larson said. “There’s so much new going up that for us it seems nice to invest in other small businesses that are priced out of those old buildings and we’re going to create something awesome.”