As the approach of finals week has students taking shelter in coffee shops, renovations brewing at Caffe Medici may not be ready until mid-May.
The cafe’s Guadalupe Street location, which opened on the Drag in 2008, has been closed since March 7 to renovate an issue with the store’s sinking floor structure and make several cosmetic changes to the location’s interior.
Thomas King, general manager for Caffe Medici’s Guadalupe location, said he anticipates the cafe to be re-opened around the second week of May, though the exact date is difficult to anticipate between issues with city permits and work being pushed back with the contractor.
King said customers will mostly be able to notice the refreshed look inside the cafe.
“The main thing that’s going to happen that’s going to be different is we’re basically getting a facelift for the whole downstairs,” King said. “I mean it’s really going to look pretty sleek, and we’re still going to have a lot of that natural wood kind of feel that we had before. It’s basically just going to be twice as refined.”
As for any additional changes, King said the shop will no longer be making fresh sandwiches, and will instead be serving food from two Austin local businesses: sandwiches from Walton’s Fancy and Staple and breakfast tacos from Fresa’s.
“Basically [the floor] was the catalyst for having to do all this,” King said. “The renovation stuff and the modernization — all that was kind of like, well, if we’re going to do this, we might as well do it right. We plan on being on Guadalupe for another 10 years at least, so we might as well do a full-on renovation.”
King said that although the break from work was initially refreshing, he now is ready to get back to seeing the cafe’s regular customers.
“I’ve been doing service industry, coffee shop-type jobs for 10 years and I love it,” King said. “I love waking up early, drinking my coffee before the sun comes up and seeing my customers every morning. You kind of get to know these people and get to know their lives or whatever they want to share with you. For me there’s kind of a void now without that daily interaction.”
Public relations sophomore Hugo Rojo said he’s looking forward to seeing the cafe open on the Drag once more.
“I’m looking forward to its reopening,” Rojo said. “It was one of the first places I was acquainted with during my first semester of college. The second floor really provided a sanctuary from busy campus life.”