If the beloved baristas of Dessert Oasis needed proof that they had been missed during their closing last month, their first 24 hours after re-opening may have been the defining example.
Downtown Rochester was booming with visitors to its popular Fire & Ice Festival and Dessert Oasis had re-opened in a new location three blocks down Main Street from where they first opened in 2009.
On that Saturday, the line for fresh-roasted coffee and hot cocoa (theirs is made from Ghirardelli chocolate, melted in a crockpot) was out the door for four-and-a-half hours straight.
"It was our busiest day in history," said manager Andrew Vickers.
Vickers said that when he and owners Jamal and Charlene Hamood first saw the new location, in the 300 block of Main Street, they "fell in love." Formerly a jewelry store, it is twice the size of the former spot.
During the month of January, Vickers and the Hamood family — Jamal, Charlene and children Nathan and Stephanie — worked 12-hour days to renovate the building. They exposed old brick walls, which had been covered by drywall. They installed hardwood floors and raised the ceiling.
In the back of the coffee shop, a reading room featuring a fireplace, big-screen TV and a cherry hardwood table will open soon.
"It feels really established," said Stephanie Hamood.
It's about the coffee
Dessert Oasis is an art gallery of sorts — local artwork hangs on the walls. It's also a live music venue: open mic night is Monday, and the other six nights feature musical acts.
But above all, Dessert Oasis is all about the coffee.
"We're really serious about coffee here," Vickers said. "We're a lot different than chain coffee shops. We use the pour-over method. Everything is roasted within five days."
Vickers said he is especially excited about the shop's new Ethiopian Yergeffe, a light to medium roast with "strong notes of blueberry."
The menu features muffins and cookies, chocolate fondue, cheese fondue and crepes. Belgian waffles and bagel sandwiches will soon be added.
The Dessert Oasis, now located at 336 Main Street, is open from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.