Ever been to Rival Brothers Coffee at 24th & Lombard? This little coffee shop has been one of our favorites in the city since they opened back in 2014, in a space that was previously occupied by Taste Buds Market. They roast their own coffee, offer pastries from High Street, and have a limited number of sandwichy options. We recommend the peanut butter toast. The biggest issue with this place is the size. With only half a dozen tables or so, it’s not uncommon to walk in and see a packed house, and turn around and walk out the door. It seems the owners recognized this issue, as they have just opened a larger second location at 1528 Spruce St., in a retail space in the Touraine.
The Touraine was built as a hotel in 1917, and converted to apartments in the 1980s. Listed on both the national and local historic registers, the building has maintained its exterior and has also preserved many interior details as well. Some of those are on full display in the new cafe, including a mosaic tile floor, columns, some wood paneling, and plaster ceilings. As for the cafe itself, the offerings are the same as the original location, but the space can accommodate three or four times as many people.
Did this area need another coffee shop? Absolutely not. Plenty Cafe is less than a block away. Elixr is around the corner and at least three Starbucks locations are within three blocks of this place. Still, this is just steps from downtown and we have a feeling that the foot traffic will allow for this spot to make it work. At the very least, many people will swing by and give the place a try just to see the handsome space in person. If you’re in the area, we suggest you take a peek. And then, of course, you can go back to your regularly scheduled coffee shop.