Colectivo Coffee is seeking to expand its presence around Madison.
The Milwaukee-based company (which used to be called Alterra) has been tight-lipped about its plans, but confirms it is looking at a shop in the old Pasqual's building, 2530 Monroe St., which it recently purchased for $745,000. The company is also eying the Hub development, now under construction in the 500 block of State Street, for another coffee shop.
Lincoln Fowler of Colectivo says his company plans a coffee shop on Monroe Street, a block away from one of Victor Allen's four remaining Madison coffee shops. In an email, he says the company expects to meet with neighborhood residents in the next couple of weeks to get feedback on its rough design and plans.
"One of the first things we try to do is to connect with our neighbors and present our plans to them, to give them a first look and allow them to give feedback," Fowler writes. "We just completed our draft drawings and our next step [is] to have a meeting."
Fowler also confirmed that Colectivo is contemplating a coffee shop in the Hub, although no deal has been finalized. "We are discussing it, but have not completed the process," he writes. "We like the project and look forward to being there."
John Bergh, president of White Box Commercial Property Group, which is marketing space in the Hub, says Colectivo is interested in 2,600-square-feet of space at the corner of State and Frances streets. The development -- which includes upscale apartments with ground-floor retail -- is scheduled to open in August 2015.
Chehade opened Michelangelo's 17 years ago. "When I came in here, nobody wanted to be on this block -- there was a porn shop across the street," Chehade says.
Chehade has seen coffee shops come and go in the past two decades. He's confident his business will survive, but worries that not everybody's will.
"We believe in competition, but slowly, but surely, Starbucks and Colectivo are going to dominate," Chehade says. "You can't stop them. But consumers should be aware that [Colectivo] is not a small company."
Three years ago, while still operating as Alterra, the company sold its name to Mars Inc. Colectivo now has 12 cafes in the Milwaukee area, and one in Madison.
Chehade echoes concerns from Sandi Torkildson, owner of A Room of One's Own bookshop, that State Street is becoming overwhelmed by bars and restaurants, and that the city should encourage a balance of retail.
Ald. Mike Verveer agrees that the proliferation of food and drink venues is worrying some. "The feedback I get is that State Street it becoming more of a food court and I suppose a coffee shop would fit into that perception," he says.
He adds that he and others are hoping for more retail downtown. "I wouldn't say one additional coffee shop... is a concern," he adds. "I welcome all businesses and it's nice that Colectivo is a Wisconsin-grown establishment."