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Yellow Bike Coffee to open Fitger’s space in Duluth

The coffee shop will open on Friday.

Chad Amborn fastens a counter down at the Yellow Bike Coffee shop in Fitgers Wednesday. The shop opens today. Yellow Bike is opening another shop soon in the Essentia/YMCA Wellness Center. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)
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Yellow Bike Coffee is branching into Duluth’s downtown coffee scene.

The Hermantown coffee shop is opening a new space in Fitger’s on Friday, catering to those who work in and near downtown Duluth.

Excitement about the new space was prevalent last week, as employees who work in the Fitger’s Complex and curious passersby stopped to speak with its owner Shannon Cornelius. Each wanted to know when they could get their hands on coffee drinks.

They were given samples as a staff member practiced making drinks in the new space. The response was unanimous: yum.


Yellow Bike Coffee's new space in Fitger's, which is set to open Friday. (Courtesy of Yellow Bike Coffee).

Yellow Bike is occupying Vanilla Bean Coffeehouse’s former first-floor space . But, they’ve updated the area with a new espresso machine, wall wrap, seating and other accents.

The shop’s focus on handcrafted drinks — the shop makes its own syrup and uses beans from Duluth Coffee Company — will be brought to the new location, Cornelius said. But differing from its flagship location in Hermantown, the Fitger’s space will also have a juicer.

“What we're trying to do is (offer) very handcrafted (drinks) and understand that it is a skill set that conveys value to a customer,” she said. The location will employ around six to eight people.

While they expect some of its customers will be tourists, Yellow Bike’s new location is catering to downtown Duluth clients — who already makes up a majority of the shop’s deliveries, Cornelius said.

“I want to services the people were working downtown. I mean, this is their home away from home. You spend so much time here. And you need to have good quality products that are also handcrafted but also have good nutritional value,” she said.

Fitger’s approached Yellow Bike about filling its need for a coffee shop. After considering its location and startup costs, they decided to move forward with opening the space.

“Why Fitger’s? (It’s) because ... one, this is a historic building. Two, the startup costs really just fit within what was feasible at this point in our expansion. And (three), it was more downtown (in) the business district,” Cornelius said.


Yellow Bike also has a new space in Essentia’s Wellness Center opening this week, but Yellow Bike’s other owners, Doug and Kim Olsen, will manage it.

Its soft opening is Friday, and Cornelius said they have plans for a grand opening celebration in early 2020.

Workers complete last-minute tasks at the Yellow Bike Coffee shop in Fitgers Wednesday. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

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