Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship? Casablanca Coffee Now Open in The Gulch

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 11:02 AM

The problems of a few people may not amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world--except within the confines of Casablanca Coffee. The Gulch's newest resident, located on the ground floor of the Icon complex at 300 11th Ave. S. between Cantina Laredo and Urban Flats, opened quietly this week in preparation for next Monday's official grand opening.

The independently owned java joint--relocated by owner James Massie from his recently closed shop in White House--serves Drew's Brews coffee, Provence pastries, salads, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches to the Gulch's waking tenants and workers passing through on their way downtown. In addition to the usual espresso-based drink list, Casablanca will traffic in smoothies and blender drinks along with a few tea and juice selections.

Sandwiches include a "Casabagel" breakfast bagel with egg, bacon, cheddar cheese and tomato ($3.95), a "Nearly Veggie" with avocado, bacon, sprouts and tomato on flaxseed bread ($7.95), a "Tea Time" with cream cheese, cucumber and dill ($5.95), and the Sydney Greenstreet of the menu, the "Fat Italian"--house olive tapenade, cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, prosciutto, salami, pepperoni and extra virgin olive oil on muffuletta bread for $8.45, with a side of tortilla chips and house salsa.

More unusual than Casablanca's menu are its methods. Instead of using a stamp card for its 10th-coffee-free reward program, Casablanca punches out numbers printed on its heat sleeves, encouraging customers to hang on to their cup jackets. And to tailor service to Casablanca's clientele, morning manager Max Tillman, who previously worked at Bongo Java East, says the coffee house will maintain a database of individual preferences to get customers their caffeine that much faster.

Casablanca Coffee stays open 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week. Tillman says you can park out front until the valet-parking service begins around 11 a.m. For more information, call 942-7666.

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