By Ryan Wynne
For 13 years, Espresso Avellino has been serving up coffee and coziness in downtown Bellingham. Now owner Pat Blakeslee wants to offer the same to coffeehouse aficionados on the north side of town.
Blakeslee recently bought a newly established, but never opened, coffeehouse at 4260 Cordata Parkway Suite 101 across from Whatcom Community College in Whatcom Plaza, where Anthony Hamilton’s Power Blendz Smoothies and Tan opened in Suite 106 about a week ago.
The approximately 1,300-square-foot space was leased and fitted for a coffeehouse by Adib Jamshedi, owner of Lotus Coffee Company. Jamshedi has roasted Avellino’s coffee for approximately five years, and Blakeslee said after he readied the Whatcom Plaza space for a coffeehouse, he approached her with the idea of buying the coffeeshop business, which she did. Jamshedi will continue to roast coffee and will supply the new Avellino shop now, too.
Blakeslee’s daughter, Jamie Rubright, will manage the new business. She is currently the manager of Mugshots Espresso, Avellino’s sister location in Ferndale. Blakeslee’s grandson, Justin Rubright, will also play a large role and will probably be there more than anyone else, Blakeslee said. Ten employees will also help out, and Blakeslee said that number could very likely increase.
As for the ambiance, Blakeslee said she has heard everything from “warm and cozy” to “ice cream parlor,” the latter of which she laughed as she said. With tables, chairs, couches and outdoor seating, she said the coffeehouse is relaxing when you walk in and feels similar to the downtown location.
“We want to give the kids over there a place they can go, drink coffee and hang out,” she said. “I just want everybody to come in and be happy.”
Their menu at the new shop will also look similar, but a bit longer. They will expand it to include ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and eventually sandwiches, Blakeslee said. And, like the downtown shop, Wi-Fi will be available.
Blakeslee said she is hoping to hold a soft opening Monday, Oct. 11, but depending on permits, it may be as late as Oct. 15.
For more information, call the downtown Espresso Avellino at (360) 715-1005.