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New cafe opens on Fort Myers Beach

July 12, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Caffeine lovers have a new option on Fort Myers Beach.

Owners Tiffany Pacheco and Salome Shalamberidze opened Beach Cafe on July 4, adding their shop to the coffee scene on the beach. The new brew is located at 1660 Estero Boulevard.

You want it, they can make it: Shalamberidze knows how to make more than 100 different kinds of coffee and tea drinks.

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Salome Shalamberidze and Tiffany Pacheco opened Beach Cafe on July 4.

"They don't all fit on our menu," Pacheco said.

Hot, cold, iced, blended, any way you like it - even if that way is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop or two of Italian gelato.

While the caffeine options are plentiful, there are two things at Beach Cafe that stand out. The two women are serving gelato, handmade by a vendor in Coconut Point, and Shalamberidze can whip up a stiff cup of Turkish coffee.

Shalamberidze is from the Republic of Georgia, where Turkish-style coffee is a staple. It's not the drink that you can grab and go: it takes five to seven minutes to brew. Shalamberidze brews the coffee in a special pot, and the grounds remain in the pot and are poured into a small, espresso-sized cup when it's finished. Turkish coffee is very strong, and the last sip is not to be drunk. In her country, the pot is placed in a large pan filled with sand and the coffee is brewed at a low heat for a long period of time. The owners are planning to set up this more traditional brewing method so their customers can watch.

It's a Georgian tradition to leave the last sip - in which the grounds coat the bottom of the cup, making patterns - so that a fortune teller can scry the drinker's future in the grounds, Shalamberidze said.

"It has a different taste. You can't make it with a machine," Shalamberidze said. "It takes time."

The owners are also serving sandwiches, pastries, wraps and bagels. The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week to make it easier to remember, Pacheco said.

Both women had been working together on the beach for a couple years when they decided they wanted to open their own business together. Pacheco describes herself as the jack-of-all-trades, and Shalamberidze as the pro barista and perfectionist, so they are a good match up for a team.

"We wanted somewhere people can relax, get out of the heat," Pacheco said.

Despite opening during the summer off-season, Pacheco said the shop is already getting a few regulars and reactions have been positive. During the Fourth of July parade, customers came into the shop to enjoy a morning drink while watching the parade go by from the comfort of the air conditioning.

Both women complimented the beach business community, saying that other local business owners have visited the newest shop on the island and have been supportive. Pacheco said the people on the beach were all friendly, something the Rhode Island native is not used to up north. Employees of beach businesses can also get a discount at the cafe.

"Everyone on the beach is like a family," Shalamberidze said.



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