Downtown food scene adds two new restaurants, loses one

Sunday, July 29, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:40 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Columbia- A new coffee shop and restaurant will open while a downtown Columbia restaurant will close.

Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company will open a shop in the 3,200-square-foot building at 29 S. Ninth St., landlord John Ott said. The property has been vacant since the closing of Ninth Street Cafe in March. Kaldi’s co-founder Howard Lerner said the coffee shop is scheduled to open in mid-September.

The coffee shop will feature certified organic and fair-trade coffees, a smoothie bar and breakfast and lunch menus. The first Kaldi’s Coffeehouse opened in 1994 in Clayton. Since then, Kaldi’s coffee shops have been opened in Kirkwood, Springfield and Chesterfield.

Despite the number of coffee shops in the downtown area, Lerner said he is confident Kaldi’s will be successful.

“There is always room for quality,” he said. “We like competition. Columbia is so vibrant that we are convinced the students and community will sustain another quality coffee retailer.”

Kaldi’s coffee is already being served downtown at the Cherry Street Artisan and at MU’s Bookmark Cafe in Ellis Library and Catalyst Cafe in the Bond Life Sciences Center.

The 3,500-square-foot property at 29 S. Eighth St. that formerly housed Socket Internet Services will soon be a restaurant, Ott said.

“Our goal has been to have a full-scale restaurant that serves three meals a day to compliment The Tiger hotel,” Ott said. “We anticipate signing a lease very soon.”

Classy’s Restaurant, 1013 E. Broadway, has closed after nearly four years of business. Owner Leta Harvey said she was tired of the long hours required to run a restaurant. The restaurant has been up for sale since May. Harvey said her original plan was to keep the restaurant open until new management came in.

“I was trying to get someone to buy it, and I would teach them the business,” Harvey said. “But no one wants to buy a restaurant, I guess.”

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