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Coffee Shop, Bar Takes Flight In Downtown Wilmington

By Laura Moore, posted Feb 21, 2024
The travel-themed Concorde Espresso Bar opened in recent months at downtown Wilmington's Front Street Inn. (Photo courtesy of Concorde Espresso Bar)
When the creative minds behind the recently updated Front Street Inn decided to add a coffee bar, they knew it couldn’t be just a coffee bar – it had to have the same international flair as the hotel. That’s how the Concorde Espresso Bar took off.

The Alfalla Hospitality Group took over the Front Street Inn in 2021 and renovated the space, transforming it into a boutique-style hotel. They rethemed each of the inn’s rooms to pay homage to locales around the world including the Hamptons in New York, Amsterdam, London’s Soho, and Zermatt, Switzerland.

Dave Gerin, the group’s co-owner, explained they wanted to add a coffee bar that would be available to guests and the public. Gerin said the owners knew the coffee bar would have to have the same theme as the hotel for it to all make sense. That’s when the idea of the iconic Concorde jet came to mind.

“It has a very retro feel that continues that travel theme as if one is on a Concorde jet itself,” Gerin said.

Coffee shop hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with espresso cocktails served Thursday through Sunday after 4 p.m., currently by reservation only.

“We wanted it to be an espresso bar where you can come in anytime,” Gerin said, “but then we could pivot to give people what they really want, and serve espresso martinis.”

Gerin means cocktails. They plan to offer customers a wide array of drinks that continue to reflect that international vibe.

Drinks reflect the different classes on board a plane with large sizes called “first,” medium sizes “business,” and small sizes “main.” “In-flight snacks” are also available. The reservation-only nighttime cocktail menu also includes smores by the firepit. The owners hope to have the cocktail bar up and running by late 2024.  

The Alfalla Hospitality Group has several restaurants and hotels around Wilmington. The Front Street Inn and Concorde Espresso Bar reflect the inviting atmosphere Gerin and his partners hope to provide their guests.

Gerin said they recently renovated the courtyard with “beautiful firepits” and a pergola for covered seating. They also offer free parking for the hotel and the coffee bar.

“It is going great. It is so fun for people to come in and tell their different stories of memories of the space and different iterations of its history,” Gerin said.

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