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This downtown coffee shop is closing, but you’ll see it again soon

Valparaiso’s owner talks about the building he’s leaving behind.

Mario Vargas talks about the coffee shop he opened in 2016 inside Bitwise South Stadium in downtown Fresno.
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Mario Vargas talks about the coffee shop he opened in 2016 inside Bitwise South Stadium in downtown Fresno.

Valparaiso Cafe & Roastery inside Bitwise South Stadium in downtown Fresno is closing – but you haven’t seen the end of this coffee business yet.

Its last day is Friday, Aug. 10, closing at noon.

Owner Mario Vargas is taking the business mobile, switching to a trailer than can serve drinks and food.

“It’s going to be the same thing we do at the cafe, but it’s mobile,” he said.

The trailer will serve 90 percent of the same drinks it serves now, including coffee, lattes, espresso, tea and more. It will also sell food, like croissants, muffins, scones, sandwiches and “all that stuff a real cafe should have,” he said.

Valparaiso is already doing private events. Vargas has a background in food and can change his menu depending upon the event, he said.

He hopes to open officially next month.

Valparaiso opened two years ago inside the Bitwise building at Van Ness Ave. and Mono Street, a building filled with other tech-related small businesses.

The coffee shop is leaving because its lease is expiring and the building didn’t have as many people coming through it as expected, Vargas said.

“It was very evident it wasn’t working out there,” he said

Valparaiso will continue to roast its own coffee at its roastery in Chinatown.

Vargas is still working out where to take the mobile version of a coffee shop, but locations could include Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. and The Dungeon MMA on E Street downtown.

Some of Vargas’ customers have followed him since he was a manager at Café Corazón in the Tower District.

“I just really want to thank them all for being supportive of the cafe, of me,” he said.

Mabel’s Kitchen, a sandwich and baked goods shop, is also inside Bitwise, next to Valparaiso. Mabel’s has about a year left on its lease, but is already looking for its next location, according to owner Susan Valiant.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough
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