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.
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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