Italian coffee shop Illy Caffe to open in Merchants Square this fall

Staff writer

You’ll be able to find coffee, pastries and more at Italian coffee shop Illy Caffe when it opens in part of the former Binn's building on West Duke of Gloucester Street this fall.

Illy, an Italian coffee roasting company, has more than 160 of its coffee bars in 34 countries, according to its website, but the Merchants Square location will be its first in the region. The cafe will feature a patio seating area and will serve Illy coffee and tea along with food and snacks including pastries, desserts, wraps and salads, to name a few.

Colonial Williamsburg Vice President of Real Estate Jeff Duncan said he expects the restaurant to open by late October in a 2,200-square-foot segment of the former Binn’s building next to Talbots.

An unannounced tenant will take up the remaining 13,000 square feet of the building, he said.

“We’re in the discussions and the design phase of planning for that space. We definitely have plans, but nothing that I can announce yet,” Duncan said.

The shop will be owned by Adam Steely, who is also co-owner and general manager of the Blue Talon Bistro on Prince George Street. Steely wasn’t available for comment.

Illy Caffe’s outdoor seating area will be on the sidewalk along West Duke of Gloucester Street, but the front door to the restaurant won’t lead directly into the patio. Instead, that area will be a few steps away from the main restaurant building to maintain pedestrian access along the sidewalk, Duncan said.

Construction and renovations on the vacant storefront haven’t started yet, Duncan said, as the project is still in the design phase. The city’s Architectural Review Board is set to consider design concepts for the patio area and a glass door into the restaurant at its meeting Tuesday.

“I think bringing this European brand to Williamsburg is going to be very popular,” he said. “Starbucks is a popular brand as well, and they have thousands and thousands of locations around the country and you can find several of them in the Williamsburg area, but I think bringing someone like Illy to Merchants Square will bring that European feel to a coffee location downtown.”

Illy Caffe will be located at 445 W. Duke of Gloucester St. For more information about, visit illy.com/en-us/company/store-events/illy-caffe.

Williamsburg nominated for Southern Living’s Best Small Town award

Williamsburg is one of 33 towns in the running for Southern Living magazine’s Best Small Town award.

The award is one of the national magazine’s “South’s Best 2020” awards, and the winners will be decided by popular vote. Other categories include Best Bar, Best BBQ Joint and more. Voting is open until midnight on Sept. 16, according to a news release, and there is no limit on the number of times someone can vote.

Along with the pride of representing their hometown, voters also have the chance to win a grand prize of $2,500, the release states. To cast a vote, visit southernliving.com/southsbestvote.

Richmond Road Wawa closed for renovations, to reopen Thursday

The Wawa convenience store on Richmond Road near the College of William and Mary’s campus is closed for renovations, but it won’t stay that way for long.

The store is expected to reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday, according to Joe Campbell, pre-construction coordinator for Wawa. Campbell, who called the project a mini-remodel, said work on exterior renovations started on July 22.

When it reopens, new lights and refrigerator units will be added to the store, along with new finishes and a fresh coat of paint. Exterior maintenance will include re-striping the parking lot. The Wawa store is at 315 Richmond Road.

Rodrigo Arriaza, rarriaza@vagazette.com, 757-790-9313, @rodrigoarriaza0

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