Look for a new coffee shop to be poured into the empty cup of Rochester’s downtown Peace Plaza later this summer.
Moka, which is known for its two coffee and tea drive-thrus in north and south Rochester, is brewing up a sit-down café-style shop at 6 First St. SW.
That’s the space last occupied by the former Glam Beauty Lounge. Prior to Glam, it housed part of the Southeastern Minnesota Visual Artists gallery. It’s next to the empty ex-Mac’s Restaurant spot.
“We’ve been looking in Rochester for another great location for a while,” said Moka owner Joan Wilson. “We feel so good about downtown Rochester … We think it will be a terrific location.”
The plan is to offer the menu of drinks familiar to customers of Moka’s drive-thru locations, with expanded pastry offerings.
While Wilson has coffee shops with seating in some of her Wisconsin locations in Madison and La Crosse, this will be the first Moka without a drive-thru window.
Construction work inside the newly leased space has already started. Wilson hopes to have a team of 15 to 20 employees start pouring coffee there later this summer, possibly by mid-August.
The space had been empty for about a month. Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate represented the landlord in the transaction. Holly Henderson of Building Character Real Estate represented the tenant.
When asked about the large number of coffee shops near the Peace Plaza, Wilson said she isn’t concerned.
“In any metro area, you tend to see that. There’s more and more of a demand as people seek out a favorite coffee shop,” she said. “I think there’s room for a lot of coffee in downtown Rochester.”