With a touch of serendipity, bicycle-themed Presta Coffee Roasters has opened its third retail location inside a former filling station in Tucson, Arizona.
The 100-year-old building that was originally used to gas up motor vehicles now provides a different kind of fuel to the humans passing through on four wheels, two wheels or by foot.
Presta Coffee Owner Curtis Zimmerman told Daily Coffee News it was simply for the beauty of the structure and its location along a popular bike route that made it an ideal spot for Presta.
“We do attract cyclists no matter where we are,” Zimmerman told DCN. “The transition from the gas station to a bicycle culture outpost is just a happy accident.”
The building’s original charm is preserved by exposed brick walls with vintage automotive messaging still visible in old paint. Contrasting with that aesthetic is the modern bar with a smooth wood surface that sets the tone for the minimalist mid-century modern interior design.
The 1,000-square-foot location comes almost exactly six years after Presta’s second retail bar opened at its roastery on 1st Ave. in Tucson. Prior to that opening, the roastery supported Presta’s wholesale and bagged coffee sales while supplying its original retail outpost inside Mercado San Augustin.
On the latest bar, Presta baristas operate a Synesso espresso machine paired with Mazzer and Mahlkönig Peak grinders.
Said Zimmerman, “We always want our baristas to have equipment that is functional, beautiful, and above all, performs consistently.”
Green coffees are sourced in collaboration with various importers including Selva Coffee, Red Fox Coffee Merchants, Yellow Rooster Coffee, Keffa Coffee and more will continue to be roasted by Zimmerman on the 15-kilo Joper roaster that Presta has depended upon since its foundation.
Work is now underway on a new home for that Joper on the opposite side of the gas station building, where Presta eventually plans to spread out production along with space for a training area for wholesale clients and staff.
Presta Coffee’s latest bar is now open at at 501 E 9th St in Tucson.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.