“They were two doctors that started this business, and the idea was to help young Brazilian people learn to be baristas so that they could learn how to interact with Americans and learn English,” said Marlene Aron, of Metrowest Commercial Real Estate. “That was the idea.”
FRAMINGHAM – Sofá Café has closed its doors for good.
The 181 Concord St. coffee shop, across from the Memorial Building in downtown Framingham, opened in 2017. Owner Diego Gonzales, who had previously opened five coffee shops in Brazil, spent months renovating the former optics shop into a trendy, modern space to sip espresso or grab a quick bite to eat.
The name was fitting with couches and cozy chairs by an electric fireplace.
Gonzales, who could not be immediately reached for comment, said he hoped to transform the space into an after-work hot spot.
“I want it to be a place where people meet with friends or have work meetings. If you want to stay the whole day, be my guest,” he said in a 2017 Daily News article.
The shop was known for its specialty drinks, including Affogato – vanilla ice cream, espresso, whipped cream – or Cult – espresso, milk, Nutella, and Baileys coffee creamer. Coffee beans came from Brazil and all over the world. Some of the food items included pastries, salads and sandwiches.
MetroWest Commercial Real Estate agent Marlene Aron said the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the cafe’s business.
“They were two doctors that started this business and the idea was to help young Brazilian people learn to be baristas so that they could learn how to interact with Americans and learn English. That was the idea,” said Aron.
Aron is now looking for new tenants and said she’d prefer someone who is well established. She said she could see the spot becoming an ice cream shop or reverting back to medical offices.
While outdoor dining is a savior for many, the Massachusetts Restaurant Association predicts that 3,600 of the state’s 16,000 restaurants are likely to permanently close due to the economic fallout driven by COVID-19.
Restaurants have lost more than $5 billion in revenue due to the pandemic, according to the Westborough-based association. Thousands of restaurant employees are also still out of work.
Information from WCVB was used in this report.
Zane Razzaq writes about education. Reach her at 508-626-3919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @zanerazz.
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