Waterbean Coffee to fill former Parliament space Uptown

Waterbean Coffee to fill former Parliament space Uptown

The former Parliament Espresso & Coffee shop in 2017. The coffee shop permanently closed in October after months of temporary closures due to the pandemic.

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Locally owned Waterbean Coffee is expanding fast, opening its seventh Charlotte-area location in Uptown by early March.

Why it matters: Waterbean’s owner, Tony Vo, hopes the new location in the former Parliament Espresso & Coffee space will help bring people back to center city, which has seen numerous closures since the start of the pandemic.

  • “We know the first year is going to be difficult.” But, he says, turning hopeful, “this pandemic is not going to last forever.”

Flashback: Since opening the first Waterbean in Cornelius in 2013, the business has grown fast. In November, Vo opened a two-story shop (with an aquarium and retractable glass roof!) in his native Vietnam.

  • Vo already has one Uptown location on North Tryon.
  • With the rapid expansion, he hopes to learn enough about different markets in order to franchise with the right partners.
  • And yes, he would love to build an aquarium-glass-roofed-coffee-shop here in Charlotte, but it’s not in the cards yet.
waterbean coffee

An iced latte from Waterbean. (Photo courtesy Waterbean)

What to expect: The set-up leftover from Parliament already fits the Waterbean brand, Vo says, so the changes will mostly be behind-the-scenes with some equipment upgrades.

  • The espresso bar will have five different types of espresso. Other drink options include chai, frappes, lattes, and smoothies.
  • Waterbean’s food menu will offer pastries and sandwiches just like its other locations.

Location: 300 S. Tryon, in the same building as La Belle Helene, which also closed amid the pandemic.

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