Friday, January 30, 2009

Frog's coffee house closes

Our friend Keira Moody's Eurotazza Coffeehouse on Camp Bowie Boulevard, named one of the nation’s must-visit boutique coffeehouses, closed today, and the economy is to blame, its owner said Tuesday.

"We saw a drop-off in November when we should have been ramping up," said Moody '92. "I had to be realistic about the situation we were in, and we’re in an industry that is having trouble. It’s been a sad, sad couple of weeks."

We wrote about Moody and the shop when it opened.

She left a job as an executive at Crescent Real Estate Co. in Fort Worth to open the independent coffeehouse nearly three years ago in the Village at Camp Bowie shopping center. She searched Europe for the best for her shop and selected specialty coffee beans from Italy and teas from Paris. Eurotazza translates to "a cup of Europe" in Italian.

Although the business grew, in the end it still wasn’t enough to compete against Starbucks and the downturn in the economy, Moody said.

"The Dallas-Fort Worth market has been slower to embrace the independent coffee culture than I projected," she said. "The economic pressures have caused us to go back to the drawing board."

Independent coffeehouses nationwide — and Starbucks — have closed their doors because consumers are spending less.

Moody said that she hasn’t ruled out reopening her shop but that any new location would need drive-through capabilities to increase revenues. Her current location requires customers to enter the store for their beverage, even for to-go orders.

"I look back on the three years, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished," Moody said of her employees.

Customers were told of the closing Tuesday. They are encouraged to use their prepaid balance before the store closes, but Moody said she will also redeem balances for Eurotazza coffee beans and other products.

In a article, the Specialty Cof- fee Association of America recommended Eurotazza as among the best U.S. coffeehouses.

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