Vigilante Coffee Company is expected to open its College Park storefront in January, more than three years after its first location opened in Hyattsville.
“This is going to be the best coffee shop in any college campus in America,” said Chris Vigilante, the company’s founder and owner. “It will be, hands down.”
Vigilante said both the city and university have been “instrumental” in helping Vigilante Coffee prepare its 8200 Baltimore Ave. location. He said opening a new location usually requires cutting through a lot of red tape, but both parties have been supportive in getting the new location open.
“It’s a great local business,” Mayor Patrick Wojahn said. “It serves a growing need in College Park for places for people to gather and meet.”
Creating a similar feel to Vigilante Coffee’s Hyattsville cafe — located in what used to be a warehouse — while still giving the new location in College Park its own identity has been a challenge, said Ashley Bodine, operations manager at Vigilante Coffee.
[Read more: Vigilante Coffee will replace #1 Liquors on Route 1]
The company has been working with local artists like Graham Boyle, who painted the mural on the building’s exterior during construction, Bodine said. There will also be a zen garden and retro sound system to help create a welcoming vibe, she added.
“It’s places like Vigilante, places with local character and that unique flavor, that make a college town vibrant and unique,” Wojahn said.
The College Park location will be built with customers’ speed and convenience in mind, Vigilante said. Whereas the Hyattsville location roasts its own coffee beans on site, the College Park location will not roast, resulting in a faster experience in comparison, he said.
The new store will have two espresso machines — compared to Hyattsville’s one — to reflect the faster pace, Vigilante said. The store sells $2.50 drip coffee and pour-over coffee ranging from $4 to $10 in price, among other items, he said.
Products that are valuable to college students, such as energy bars, trail mix and longboards — which Vigilante said he wished he had access to when he was in college — will also be available for purchase at the College Park location.
The new location, which has replaced #1 Liquors on Route 1 between the View and The Varsity, was originally slated to open in August of 2017, Bodine said. Vigilante opened the company’s only other location in Hyattsville in 2014.
Bodine said the build out of this location was more challenging than anticipated, due to the ongoing permit process. The storefront had been a liquor store since its conception in the 1970s, she said, and therefore required more work to get ready.
Vigilante said the company was unexpectedly required to spend $15,000 to cap a water main at the street due to Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission regulations, which has been the main source of the delay.
But now the store is nearly ready, Vigilante said.
“We build things that we want to see in the world,” Vigilante said. “We’re building a place that we think we would love to come and have a cup of coffee and have a good experience, and we just hope that other people feel that same way too.”