C-ville coffee shop opens Libbie Ave. outpost in former SweetFrog space

Grit Coffee recently opened at 409 Libbie Ave.The cafe is the Charlottesville company’s only location in Richmond.

After a short-lived test run downtown on Grace Street, an out-of-town coffee shop has a café in Richmond’s West End.

Grit Coffee opened last week at 409 Libbie Ave. The company’s only location outside the Charlottesville area was formerly home to a Sweet Frog.

Grit Coffee opened its sixth location in a space on Libbie Avenue near St. Catherine’s School last week.  (Photo courtesy of Grit Coffee)

“We have been planning for a while to break out of Charlottesville and dip our toe into other markets … this location on Libbie was a great opportunity,” said Dan FitzHenry, Grit’s general manager of operations.

The shop is open daily and serves coffee and tea alongside pastries from nearby Pearl’s Bake Shoppe. The company roasts its own coffee, and sells whole bean coffee out of the shop. Coffee and tea drinks run $1 to $5.

Grit’s space is 1,300 square feet and the shop has four employees. For now, it only offers carry-out and online orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will eventually open indoor seating. The cafe has a patio.

Grit previously tested the market with a downtown spot at 401 E. Grace St., a space it shared with Charlottesville-based Champion Brewing. Grit left Grace Street in November after five months. Champion moved out in 2019. A comedy club called Sandman Comedy Club plans to open in the space.

Grit opened its first cafe in Charlottesville in 2008. It has five locations in Charlottesville with 50 employees companywide.

Grit’s move into the Libbie-Grove neighborhood comes shortly after Starbucks shuttered its cafe up the street.

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