Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Coffee bar to open in historic Marquette Tower

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Downtown Cape Girardeau’s coffee scene will be expanding by the end of this month with the addition of Barista’s Coffee Bar. Baristas will be located on the first floor of the Marquette Tower on Broadway, directly across from the Rust Media Center.

The coffee bar will be the newest addition to Primo Brands, the parent company of Primo Vino and Cask Craft Spirits & Beer Lounge in Cape Girardeau.

Keller Ford, managing partner of Primo Brands, said he hopes Baristas fills a void left by other restaurants in downtown Cape Girardeau. Baristas hours of operation will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Baristas will serve handcrafted Kaldi’s Coffee, Fire Pot teas, smoothies, frappes, cold brew drinks and more, Ford said. The coffee bar also will feature a cafe-type menu with several breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, soups of the day and various bakery items.

Baristas will serve alcohol in the form of different beers, wine by the glass and alcoholic coffee drinks, Ford said.

“While the flavors aren’t exactly the same, some of the same flavor profiles that are in wine are also in coffee,” Ford said. “This is one huge aspect of the food service industry that I have never really been exposed to.”

The management team for Baristas began Kaldi’s Coffee training in the fall in St. Louis, Ford said. Training has started for the newly hired employees at Baristas, as the company will concentrate on well-crafted, quality food and coffee.

“We really want to focus on customer service and giving people a good experience from the time they walk through the doors to the time they leave,” Ford said.

A local company with local investors, Baristas Coffee Bar is one of many businesses coming to the Marquette Tower, Ford said. There will be nearly 100 employees working in the building when all construction is finished and businesses have begun working in the Marquette.

“We love the fact that this old, historic building is finally being brought back to life and done the right way,” Ford said. “Because this is a historic building, there are so many things that need special permission.”

Ford said there have been some challenges getting the business ready to open due to the construction hurdles in place when altering a historic building. For as many challenges the management team has faced, however, there also has been plenty of community support for the project.

Primo Brands also will be opening a rooftop bar and restaurant, which will be coming soon to the Marquette.

Rafael Camp is the Primo Brands director of operations and will be the general manager of the rooftop bar, Ford said. Camp is part of the management team for Baristas as well.

Baristas Coffee Bar is still accepting applications for employment. For more information on how to apply, visit or pick up an application from the restaurant.