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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Opus Coffee celebrates grand opening at Row location

The company’s 10th Gainesville location looks to draw UF students en route to class

<p>Anamika Naidu and Leah Kozakevich sip Opus coffee at The Row location&#x27;s grand opening event Aug. 25, 2023 in Gainesville.</p>

Anamika Naidu and Leah Kozakevich sip Opus coffee at The Row location's grand opening event Aug. 25, 2023 in Gainesville.

Plastic cups of nitro cold brew circulated at a new Opus Coffee cafe Friday, carried by caterers offering free samples to eager coffee drinkers.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the local coffee company held an opening for its 10th shop, located in the lobby of The Row UF apartment building on 13th Street. 

The Row location, which has been open to the public since May 15, is within walking distance from Opus’ only on-campus location located in Norman Hall, which opened last year.

The influx of Opus shops opening around campus shows the company’s desire to connect with and cater to UF’s student community, said Melissa Leonard, 23-year-old Opus director of operations and marketing. 

“We knew we wanted to do [the event] in the fall to make sure new students knew about it,” said Leonard. “But also to tell returning students who may only know our other locations that we’re now here right across from campus.”

Although the location has been open for over three months, business was slower over the summer with most of the student population gone, Leonard said.

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Opus Coffee at The Row location in Gainesville Aug. 25, 2023.

With school back in session, “things have been really good,” she added.

Anamika Naidu, a 19-year-old UF political science sophomore, stopped by the event at her friend’s request.

“This is my first time … buying something from Opus ever,” Naidu said. “I’m an avid coffee drinker, but I’m very used to your standard Dunkin’ Donuts.”

As a self-described drink reviewer with a private Snapchat story dedicated to her passion for coffee, Naidu gave her first-ever Opus coffee — the All Nighter — her stamp of approval.

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“I like the cold foam on top. The ones I’m used to getting at bigger chains tend to be thin and they get watery so fast,” Naidu said. “This is a very high-quality drink.”

Leah Kozakevich, the 19-year-old UF psychology sophomore who brought Naidu to the opening, said she regularly visited Opus’ Innovation and Norman locations last year — her go-to order is a chai almond milk latte. 

She was excited when she saw the shop’s latest location was along her walking route to class.

“The flavors are very unique and you can customize your drink any way you want … and have a little fun with it,” said Kozakevich. “The vibes at Opus are immaculate.”

Although only Kozakevich is currently an “avid Opus goer,” the Row location being on her way to campus might encourage Naidu to make the coffee shop one of her go-to spots as well.

“I could see … every Friday, coming and getting a coffee,” said Naidu. “I could see that being really nice.”

Opus has no new cafe locations in the works, but the company’s coffee-roasting operation is preparing to move into a new, larger roaster space on September 22 and will celebrate with a public opening and tours, according to Leonard.

Contact Zoey at zthomas@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @zoeythomas39


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Zoey Thomas

Zoey Thomas is a second-year media production major and the university administration reporter for The Alligator. She previously wrote for the metro desk. Other than reporter, Zoey's titles include espresso connoisseur, long-distance runner and Wes Anderson appreciator. 


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