Intelligentsia has officially arrived in Watertown, the coffee company announced today via Instagram. In the works since last summer, this is the first Boston-area location for the roaster and “coffeebar” chain, which was founded in Chicago back in 1995. The coffeebar is located at 810 Mt. Auburn St., while a coffee training lab (both for baristas and for enthusiastic members of the general public) and sales office is next door at 818 Mt. Auburn St. (Look for them right across from Sofra.) The company also has coffeebars in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, with various training labs and roasting facilities in a few other cities as well.
As previously reported, the Watertown coffeebar features a “chef’s table” to encourage interactions between customers and baristas, and this location of Intelligentsia is carrying baked goods from Forge Baking Co. in Somerville. (Forge and its sister spots Diesel Cafe and Bloc Cafe — formerly known as Bloc 11 — already carry Intelligentsia coffee.)
“We’re actively looking for new sites in Boston and Cambridge,” Intelligentsia president James McLaughlin told the Boston Business Journal, explaining that Boston-area expansion would be similar to the company’s Chicago expansion, opening first in an area where Intelligentsia could “serve as an anchor for the community,” and using that as a means to introduce the brand to the community and then expand downtown and beyond. (Currently there are no specific Boston locations in the works, but stay tuned.) Bold words for a Boston audience: McLaughlin also stressed to the Journal that Intelligentsia “isn’t another coffee shop...not a Dunkin’ Donuts,” promising that at Intelligentsia, customers can “expect something more from a cup of coffee...it can be a culinary experience.”
• Intelligentsia Coverage on Eater [EBOS]
• Chicago's Intelligentsia Coffee Brews up Boston Expansion Plan [BBJ]