Licensed Espresso Bar Opening inside Devonshire Mall

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A downtown Windsor espresso bar is expanding to Devonshire Mall.

Turbo Espresso Bar will be opening its second location inside the mall later this month.

Owner Renaldo Agostino says it's been a lifelong dream to open in the mall but is also thrilled to obtain a liquor licence.

He says the establish was able to obtain a liquor license "using shared restrooms and without a formal exterior exit – both items that traditionally made applying for license challenging."

Agostino says the COVID-19 pandemic has created different opportunities for business owners.

"We can have alcohol to go," says Agostino.  "So if you wanted to come in and get a bottle of Wolfhead vodka, you can come in and get that bottle of Wolfhead vodka or Walkerville beer or anything local, we really want to do like a grab local section, where you can come in, buy a bottle and leave.  A year ago, a year and a half ago you would get arrested for doing that as a licensee."     

He says Valerie Dawn, a principal architect at Glos Arch + Eng worked with the city to see if it was possible to obtain a liquor licence.

"They were able to change something that in the past, the words they used were 'this was a hill that the city would die on', the city has changed that and I think that spells really really good things for business people in Windsor," he says.  

Agostino says when he first looked at getting a liquor license, he was told 'it was impossible.'

"The pendulum has swung in the operators favour and in the businessman's favour and that is something that who could have of imagined some of these opportunities that have come out of such a horrible thing," says Agostino.      

Agostino says the espresso bar will be near the Lululemon store and next to Purdy's Chocolatier.

It will seat up to 30 people.  

He says the bar also plans to create a makeshift patio in the mall's hallway, once rules allow for it. 

Turbo Espresso Bar opened in downtown Windsor last summer at the corner of Ouellette Avenue and University Avenue West.