Black Coffee spreads buzz to St. Paul

After finding success in SE Como, the restaurant will open another location near the University of St. Thomas in April.

Mollie Galvez and her husband Wil take a selfie in front of Black Coffee and Waffle Bar on Saturday morning in Southeast Como after having breakfast. The store plans to expand with a new location in St. Paul set to arrive by April.

Kathryn Chlystek

Mollie Galvez and her husband Wil take a selfie in front of Black Coffee and Waffle Bar on Saturday morning in Southeast Como after having breakfast. The store plans to expand with a new location in St. Paul set to arrive by April.

Olivia Johnson

Minimalist decor, fresh coffee and instagrammable waffles helped turn the Black Coffee and Waffle Bar in Southeast Como into a local favorite.
 
 
The restaurant, formerly called Muddsuckers, rebranded in 2014, and its success has spurred the opening of a new location in coming months near the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul.
 
 
Heather Feider, general manager of the shop, said they chose to expand in the new location because of its proximity to the school and for the family-friendly neighborhood.
 
 
“It’s going to have a really similar aesthetic,” Feider said. “We will have more space for making and storing ingredients.”
 
 
The coffee shop is hoping to open their new store by April, said Brad Cimaglio, the restaurants’ co-owner and founder.
 
 
“We’ve kind of outgrown the space at Como,” Cimaglio said. “We’ve always wanted to expand over to St. Paul.”
 
 
Cimaglio said the new location will have just a few more seats than the current spot, but he said the space is bigger with high ceilings and bigger windows for natural light.
 
 
Black hired Shelter Architecture to design the new shop, Feider said.
 
 
Shelter Architecture will use the same themes as the Como location but with a cleaner, more refined look, said Kurt Gough, the project lead for the St. Paul location.
 
 
“What we do for the project is basically work with them and take their brand and … give it life as an actual space,” he said.
 
 
Gough said they received a permit to clean out the space a month ago and another to begin construction this week.
 
 
“It’s pretty beat up in there right now,” Gough said. “The past attendants did a lot of do-it-yourself construction.”
 
 
The waffle bar started the search for a St. Paul location last summer, Feider said. The lot sits on a busy intersection across from the newly opened Heirloom Kitchen and Bar,
Gough said.
 
 
Feider said Black Coffee will introduce new waffle flavors as well as a rotation of new coffee beans from around the country. The cafe will also start hiring a 15-person staff for St. Paul this week, she said.
 
 
Kelly Hultengren, a psychology senior at the University of Minnesota, lives near the restaurant and said she enjoys the restaurant’s use of lighting and the music they play.
 
 
“Lately, they’ve had some art up,” Hultengren said. “I like that too.”
 
 
Chanho Kim, a 24-year-old artist, has visited Black Coffee and Waffle Bar multiple times and said he’s posted a photo of their picturesque waffles on social media.
 
 
“It’s, like, urban minimalist,” Kim said of the restaurant’s design. “It’s a cool concept, just coffee and waffles.”