Retro coffee shop opening in SLO shopping center

Lucy’s Coffee Co. is located in the Laurel Lane shopping center in San Luis Obispo.
Lucy’s Coffee Co. is located in the Laurel Lane shopping center in San Luis Obispo.

A retro-themed coffee shop will be the first of several stores to open in the newly renovated Laurel Lane shopping plaza in San Luis Obispo.

Lucy’s Coffee Co. is slated to open by the end of April or the beginning of May, owner Lisa Hess said.

Hess, who also owns the mobile truck and cart called SLO Coast Coffee that caters different events, began renovations on the 1,500-square-foot building more than six months ago. She said she was unsure how much the renovations cost.

“I’m just excited to get it open, and to see my vision after so much work,” she said. “It’s been such a long process.”

Named in honor of Hess’ 10-year-old daughter — “We kind of figured it was the perfect name for it,” she said — Lucy’s Coffee is modeled after a vintage industrial diner. It will employ five part-time workers.

The shopping center, tucked between Richard Street and Southwood Drive, is not near other coffee shops, so Hess said she’s not too concerned about competition.

“We’re off in our whole little area over there,” she said.

Lucy’s will join three already opened shops in the Laurel Lane center: Pit.Fit, which offers kickboxing, martial arts and yoga; Laurel Lane Market & Liquor; and the SLO Town Barber Shop, said local real estate investor Patrick Aurignac.

Since Laurel Lane Investments LLC, owned by Aurignac, purchased the center in December 2013, there have been several major changes to the complex.

Within the next three or four months, Efren’s Mexican Restaurant — which has locations in Oceano, Santa Maria and Nipomo — will open its new 4,000-square-foot restaurant, Aurignac said.

Construction on the property is underway now to replace the sewer system, waterlines and gaslines; excavate the parking lot; and create 99 new parking spaces, he said.

And in about six months, construction is set to begin on 19 three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath luxury apartments, Aurignac said. Those are projected to be completed about a year after construction begins, he said.

The total cost of renovations will be about $1.2 million, including about $250,000 to redo the parking lot and add more parking, Aurignac said.

About 5,000 square feet of space is still available for leasing, and Aurignac is looking for some type of yogurt or smoothie shop and a bakery or deli to fill those spots.

For now, Aurginac said the company is focused on completing renovations before finding new tenants.

“It’s a big undertaking,” he said. “We want it to be special.”

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