Coffee caper: Bandit Coffee Co. brewing in St. Pete

The multipurpose Bandit Coffee is coming to St. Pete with a grand opening slated for early 2016.

click to enlarge HOT BUZZ: Pour-over and cold-brew coffees will be among Bandit's offerings. - Bandit Coffee Co.
Bandit Coffee Co.
HOT BUZZ: Pour-over and cold-brew coffees will be among Bandit's offerings.

A trio of bandits hopes to hit the Kenwood area of St. Petersburg before the end of the year. This isn’t your classic group of outlaws, though. They’re the coffee enthusiasts behind the neighborhood’s new multipurpose Bandit Coffee Co.

Married couple and owners Joshua and Sarah Weaver met in high school. After college, they started traveling for pleasure and would often go to the baristas first to learn about a new city. The more they traveled, the more their love of coffee grew. But St. Pete always drew them back.

While exploring the area’s coffee scene, the couple met barista and lead singer of the local metal band Limbs, Chris Costanza. The triad bonded over common interests, including music, photography and, most importantly, coffee.

According to them, St. Pete was missing something vital, something they refer to as “a lingering space.” The bandits, who wanted a spot where people could pass the day away, hope to fill that void at 2662 Central Ave. in the Grand Central District, where they’ve been working to bring their idea to life for two years.

Unlike most coffee shops, Bandit Coffee Co. plans to use a multiroaster system to highlight java from around the world, including Tampa Bay. The crew says the café will cut out the fancy and confusing terminology and drinks clouding the real star: the coffee. Instead, they’re set to offer espresso, espresso with milk and tea.

In addition to its lingering space, the shop — sporting a minimalist black-and-white color scheme with wood grain and plants incorporated into the decor — will feature a slow bar for fresh pour-over and cold-brew coffees. Pastries from local businesses will also be on hand.

“I love coffee, and I love having a great cup of coffee, but what I really, really do enjoy is the connection you make with people,” Costanza says.

Patrons are encouraged to ask the bandits for advice on what to order. They want to get to know their customers.

“When you become a part of somebody’s routine,” Sarah says, “that’s something that’s really special.”

For the photography crowd, the Weavers and Costanza, who are photographers themselves, will have a small bare-bones studio in the back of the café available for rent, as well as a rentable co-work space with six or seven desks for other folks. The studio will double as an event space for talks and films, too.

Eager to open as soon as possible, the bandits have previewed their offerings at places like St. Pete Pride and the St. Pete Indie Market. The café’s grand opening is planned for early next year, with a few surprises in store.

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