It was before 9 a.m., Monday, May 7, and Miroslav Rahnev had already finished with one customer and had two others waiting their turn at his small barbershop, KOCA Barbershop, located at 80 Leonard St. in Belmont Center.
The master barber, who has operated his business for the past four years, said he has a successful operation at the busy commercial center.
Rahnev is now looking to use his entrepreneurial talents and open a new coffee shop in his current store directly across for Macy's near the corner of Alexander Avenue.
The Belmont resident will come before the Zoning Board of Appeals tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Beech Street Center to seek permission to open a "family-run" shop run by his wife, Maria, at the location of the barbershop.
"I want to have another business in Belmont," said Rahnev while waiting for his next customer to have a seat in the barber chair.
And Rahnev will be joining what is becoming a crowded field of businesses that what to provide a caffeine-craving community with its daily – or several times a day – fix of java.
Along with nearby Starbucks – which will undergo extensive renovations this August – and Bruegger's which serves espresso and other high-quality drinks, the town's two Dunkin' Donuts have served the quintessential coffee for generations of New Englanders.
And recently, a hybrid Mexican/coffee shop is expected to open this fall adjacent to the Studio Cinema on Trapelo Road in Central Square while word is spreading that a developer wants to construct a high-end coffee shop as part of a commercial/retail development on Trapelo Road in the former Video One location next to the Belmont Fire Department Headquarters.
When asked about competing against both national and local competition, Rahnev said his shop will be distinctive from the others "because it will be a family business. It won't be a corporate (outlet). It will be run by my wife and we will know our customers."
In a letter to the Office of Community Development, Rahnev wrote that the shop – to be named Mim's Coffee Shop – will mainly concentrate on serving coffee such as espresso, cappuccino, cafe chocolate and mocha along with traditional and herbal teas and juices.
The shop will sell "a worldwide types of pastries" that is "nothing like what's around" including some breakfast sandwiches. All the food will be delivered so there will be no cooking or baking on the premises.
The shop, which plans to begin with two to three employees, would be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
While he is gearing up for his new business, Rahnev's loyal haircut customers won't be forced to find a new coiffeur; a new location for the barbershop will be less than 100 feet down Leonard Street.