For its newest location, a local cafe is donning the orange and blue.
Cafe Caturra has expanded to Charlottesville and opened at 1327 W. Main St. on Monday.
The new restaurant is the third for majority owners Dexter Brown and Rob Slotnick. They also have Cafe Caturra locations at 13830 Village Place Drive in Midlothian and 5811 Grove Ave. in the city, both of which have been open for more than six years.
UVA alumnus Brown, 54, said the Charlottesville location has been a long time coming.
“Good real estate in Charlottesville is hard to come by,” Brown said. “We’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for years.”
The company signed a 10-year lease on the 3,400-square-foot space that was formerly home to Toro’s Tacos & Tequila Bar. Brown said he liked the space because of the foot traffic, street visibility, parking and nearby retailers that complement Cafe Caturra.
“We’re a neighborhood concept,” Brown said. “We expect we’re going to have our share of undergraduate and graduate students.”
With a menu of coffee, soups, sandwiches, salads and other fare, Brown said he also expects to attract Charlottesville businesspeople and draw from workers and visitors from the nearby hospital.
Richmond-based Windward Construction handled the renovations on the Charlottesville space that included a new kitchen, interior design and a 70-seat patio. Brown would not say how much the company spent on opening the new location.
Brown said he and Jeff Grant launched the Cafe Caturra brand nine years ago with a location in Alverser Plaza through an entity called Cafe Caturra Espresso & Roastery LLC.
That location has since closed, and Grant eventually left the original LLC for Caturra Partners, which used a licensing agreement to open Cafe Caturras in Short Pump, North Carolina, South Carolina and Northern Virginia. John Davenport, a partner with Caturra Partners, said most of those locations have since been converted into Tazza Kitchen restaurants, a new concept owned by Caturra Partners. The newest Tazza Kitchen is set to open in May at 1244 Alverser Plaza.
Caturra Partners still owns one Cafe Caturra in Cary, North Carolina, Davenport said.
More changes and locations could also be in the works for Brown and Slotnick’s Cafe Caturras. They previously added about 1,000 square feet to the Midlothian location and are working on a new pie concept in the expanded space.
“We’re probably going to engage in a face-lift for our Richmond locations,” Brown said. “We do plan to open other locations in Virginia.”