River City Tea, Coffee and Cream, Hillcrest’s local Starbucks alternative, is moving a few blocks down the street, and will soon be under new ownership.
Jeremy Bragg, who has managed River City for current owner Lisa Coleman for the past two years, will be buying the store and moving it to a new space at 2913 Kavanaugh Blvd, at the east end of the building that curves around behind Leo’s Greek Castle. Bragg hopes for a soft open in the new space by Thursday, Sept. 26, with a grand opening the evening of Hillcrest’s First Thursday Shop n’ Sip on Oct. 3.
Bragg said that while the current River City space, at 2715 Kavanaugh, is a bit larger, the new store will be more visible and will have more useable space. As a big bonus for coffee and tea sippers on the go, the new location will feature several parking slots out front, enabling quick caffeine pit stops. He said that Coleman, who bought River City three years ago following a car accident that left her too injured to continue her career as a nurse, will be devoting more time and energy to her job as a realtor.
While the address is changing, Bragg promises that patrons will find more that’s the same than different at the new location, including familiar truffles, ice cream, coffee and tea drinks, plus loose-leaf dried teas and – new for the move – a selection of fine bagged teas. That said, Bragg plans to “focus a little less on the retail side of things and just a little bit more on the coffeehouse experience.” In addition to places to plug in a laptop and type, that “coffeehouse” feel will include adding a larger, 20 ounce size to the iced coffee and tea selections, and a “medium” size – between the current 12 ounce and 20 ounce to-go cups – for hot beverage drinkers.
“We do want to carry on the kind of quirky, Hillcrest, cozy charm that’s been a mainstay at this location for a long time,” Bragg said. “We’re trying to tie in some elements of the old and the new. It’ll still be mismatched and quirky and fun.”
Visit the River City website for more information on their hours and menu.