Shuttered Captain Buzzy’s gets two new captains

Tasha Bobrosky and Brian Colegrove. (Photos by Mike Platania)

Sixteen years since its maiden voyage, a Church Hill coffee shop has new owners at the helm.

Captain Buzzy’s Beanery has sold to Tasha Bobrosky and Brian Colegrove, a married couple who live in the neighborhood.

The seller was Bob Buffington, who’s owned the shop at 2623 E. Broad St. since 2003.

Colegrove and Bobrosky, who work in telecommunications sales and as a dietitian, respectively, said they’ve lived in Church Hill since about 2011.

They said they’d casually talked with Buffington in the past about buying the business, but things ramped up after the cafe closed this month.

Captain Buzzy’s landlord, Howard and Karen Kellman of The Edison Co., terminated Buffington’s lease. Shortly after, Bobrosky and Colegrove bought Buzzy’s assets and signed a new lease.

The former Captain Buzzy’s Beanery will become Riverbend Coffee Co. upon reopening next month.

The couple said they’ll be changing the name of the shop to Riverbend Coffee Co., an homage to how the James River bends near Libby Hill Park, which is just a few blocks from the cafe.

Despite the name change, the concept will remain largely the same, “just a lot cleaner,” Colegrove said.

“We’ll redecorate and the floors are being sanded and painted,” Bobrosky said. “We’re narrowing down the menu. It’ll be mainly breakfast, but higher quality and we’ll do some basic lunch.”

Included in the purchase was Buzzy’s coffee roaster, which will continue to roast beans in-house.

“We’ll keep the two most popular blends (of beans), the Church Hill blend and Buzzy’s blend,” Bobrosky said.

Riverbend also plans to start wholesaling its coffee.

Bobrosky and Colegrove said they’ll keep Buzzy’s staff and also keep their own day jobs as well.

The couple aims to reopen the shop by mid-June.

Bobrosky and Colegrove said they’re nervous and excited at the prospect of taking over the shop.

“The community really liked Buzzy’s. It’s like a ‘Cheers’ and that’s my dream for a coffee shop. We really want to keep it comfortable,” Bobrosky said.

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Nick Feakins
Nick Feakins

So why was the previous tenant’s lease terminated? Sounds like the landlords are fine with a coffee shop being there if they resigned with the new owners.

Ed Christina

Wasn’t there some kind of drama about the place trying to sell wine and beer, and some of the neighbors objecting?

Brian Ezzelle
Brian Ezzelle

Captain Buzzy’s was recently on the WWBT Weekly Restaurant Report. That is probably why giving the place a good cleaning was referenced by the new owners.

David Humphrey
David Humphrey

They should do well as long as they don’t start throwing flower pots…

Lucas Hall

I’m sad to see Captain Buzzy’s Beanery go but very glad to see that the awesome dark roast “Buzzy’s blend” will stick around!

Jim Burns
Jim Burns

I hope Bob came out of this deal with some $$ in his pocket. He’s had many business/health bumps in the road and challenges . I will miss Bob, T, and all the original crew who were always a pleasure.