Owner of 203° Fahrenheit Coffee Alen Fikic has everything set to launch at the cafe’s new location in the Google building at 610 Boren Avenue North. At this point, he’s just waiting on approval from a city inspector.
The cafe — named after the water temperature at which espresso is brewed — opened its first Totem Lake shop in Kirkland in March 2019. With over 23 years of experience in coffee, including a seven-year stint as president of Zoka Coffee Roasters, Fikic wanted 203° to focus on the basics: excellent customer service with outstanding coffee. 203’s popular offering is the medium roast Fitzroy Blend, which includes Central and South American beans for a chocolatey, molasses flavor. “Our whole concept is elegance married with simplicity,” Fikic says. “From the design to the way the furniture is laid out to our menu [it’s] very simplistic.”
203° has teased the opening of its new South Lake Union cafe on Instagram since the end of October. The interior looks like what you’d expect for a coffee shop inside the building of a software giant: polished, minimal, and in this case, glowing. A white light ring hangs in a halo over a long bar area, with a bright purple 203° sign close to the entrance. The South Lake Union location is open to the public and will have grab-and-go items like breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and pastries from Macrina Bakery.
“We are 95 percent done,” Fikic says. “However, the city of Seattle is having issues with getting inspectors out … So right now we’re basically their mercy. I’m ready to open any day.”
Fikic says it could take as long as six weeks for an inspector to make a visit to the new cafe. It’s a long time to have to pay overhead costs without officially being open, but it will be worth the wait. “We’re kind of in a limbo but we’re going to remain optimistic,” Fikic says. “Hopefully within within the next six weeks, we’ll have it wrapped up.”