The long-awaited Illycaffè is finally opening in Merchants Square later this week.
Adam Steely, owner of the new shop, said there is not a set opening date yet but he is hoping to open Wednesday or Thursday. Steely is also the co-owner of Blue Talon Bistro.
Illycaffè is an international company based in Italy that sells a variety of coffee.
The coffee shop and cafe is designed to serve a grab-and-go breakfast and light lunch fare such as cheese plates and fruit. In its 2,000-square-foot location next to Talbots on Duke of Gloucester Street, guests can enjoy a cocktail, a nice meal or just a simple cup of coffee while meeting with friends.
“I think by-and-large, folks are excited because it’s a great addition to this end [of Merchants Square],” he said. “There’s a patio area, you can bring your dog down here and just have a coffee or a tea.”
There will also be a specialty dessert menu for guests curated by Steely’s wife, Dyana, who owns Extraordinary Cupcakes in Williamsburg.
Steely said staff at the cafe practiced their serving skills Saturday by giving out free coffee to passersby. According to a Facebook post from the shop, the cafe served approximately 500 people in five hours.
Steely said members from the organization’s corporate office will stop by to do a final inspection but he hopes for their approval.
Steely has been working on this project for multiple years, starting after Illycaffè announced it would expand its branded shops to the United States in 2017.
“It’s very nice to be this close to the finish,” Steely said.