Move over, corporate coffee chains and crappy pizza joints -- Urban Oxy has moved into South Beach. The locally focused café serves cold brew, homemade pizza-by-the-slice, and fresh-baked pastries -- much-needed additions to the tourist-trap-ridden Washington Avenue.
The rapidly expanding chain opened its downtown branch a few months ago and has already gained an enthusiastic following. South Beach is its second effort, and a Coral Gables locale is soon to follow.
Founder Emmanuel Garcia Coll is nothing if not friendly. And this gregariousness reveals itself in the beneficial relationships he's formed to supply the various Urban Oxy outposts. They have partnerships with Panther Coffee, Sweetness Bakeshop, and JoJo Tea -- all local companies that make killer products -- and products from those businesses are now available at Urban Oxy.
As far as the brand's success thus far, Coll is stoked. "We knew it was going to become something of its own and that's what's happening," he says.
The new location at 1260 Washington Avenue differs in a few key ways from the downtown branch: They serve specialty teas, pizza by the slice and they're open till 3 a.m. on weekends.
It's a comfortable spot with a positive, colorful vibe, from the walls scrawled with customer chalk art to the graffiti work by Miami's own Atomik.
The soft opening (which kicked off last week) has shown pizzas and grilled cheese to be the most popular items, Coll says, and surprisingly, they're seeing more traffic from locals than tourists.
"I think the locals were sort of yearning for a coffeehouse that wasn't your typical Starbucks," he says.
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They've got lots of super-sophisticated coffee options, from vacuum pots to French Press to Chemex, with Panther Coffee-trained baristas serving 'em up. Plus fresh, Sweetness-made pastries, with more creative choices soon to come.
The official opening is August 2, but they're serving now to those who are in-the-know, so feel free to stop by for a crazy delicious cold brew ($4.25), a fig jam grilled cheese ($9) or a meatball pizza slice ($3.25). And leave a little art behind while you're at it.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.