Bridgehead has made it official that they will be the third major coffee chain to open on Preston Street. There is a Starbucks at 333 Preston, at the base of the three Sakto office towers; and Tim Horton’s in the government office tower at the south end of Rochester/Booth at Carling (this shop is behind the security cordon, so don’t try to drop in for a jolt unless you have a pass).
Bridgehead will take the former Bell building on Preston at Anderson, initially moving into the location of Preston and Leif and all the “back” areas of the building, and eventually also into the location currently occupied by Darryl Thomas Textiles. DTT may eventually move to the former VIP Sisha hooka lounge immediately to the south, in the same building. Or maybe not. Plans are still flexible. Sedona Spa will remain downstairs. What is certain is that there will be a Bridgehead location there by the fall, and that eventually it will take up the entire building.
Bridgehead plans extensive renovations, eventually including an enclosed street-level entrance from Preston to replace the exterior stairs and open-air lobby presently there. Immediately behind their flagship store will be the coffee roasting facility. It will be open to view from the shop, which should be interesting to watch. The coffee business will renovate the back “warehouse” areas too, exposing the steel and brick industrial interior for that funky industrial look. Eventually, their mail order business presently located at City Centre complex will move in to join the roastery and corporate head office. All told, it will employ 30-45 people.
The site abuts a parking bay on Preston, available 24/7; and has very limited boulevard parking on the north side. Once they get the interior renovations done and the operation running, they may try to strike a deal with the city to rearrange the north edge of the building, pulling the city sidewalk up flush to the building, thus allowing angle parking and landscaping on the side street. They are also considering a small outdoor café space at sidewalk level at the Preston intersection.
The new operation may have the garbage dumpsters indoors rather than abutting the sidewalk. There will also be an afterburner, so that the whole neighborhood will not smell like roasting coffee beans.
Please note: this post was updated late on Tuesday, April 12.