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Rotating Retail Starts With Coffee at American Tobacco Campus

And what else to look for

American Tobacco Campus

The newly rotating retail spot at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham is about to start pouring coffee. The downtown property acts as an adaptive reuse, mixed-use development featuring modern residences, at least 10 restaurants (like Cuban Revolution and Scott Howell’s NanaSteak), Durham Bulls baseball, the Durham Performing Arts Center, and more.

That “more” is soon to include artisan coffee roaster Caballo Rojo, which will be positioned in what Campus managers call a “prime retail spot,” dubbed PopUp @ American Tobacco, with a street-level, 1,483-square-foot space at 359 Blackwell St.

Caballo Rojo, owned by Gabriela Wilberding Kavanaugh and named to honor her grandfather’s roasting company founded in Venezuela in the 1960s, will have its time to shine with freshly brewed and roasted coffee from August 20-31. The shop will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday during that nearly two-week time period. Customers can expect pour-over coffees, drip coffees, cold brews, and bags of freshly roasted beans to take home.

“The space is a prime retail spot as it’s located on our historic tobacco campus and is within a two-minute walk of the Durham Bulls Stadium, the Durham Performing Arts Center and about 4,500 office workers,” said Adam Klein, director of strategy for Campus owner Capitol Broadcasting Company, in an email. “It also has high visibility along one of the main arteries into downtown Durham.”

Kavanaugh is just the first of three likely entrepreneurs to have a shot at being featured in that prime spot this year through an application process. The application verbiage promoted by American Tobacco draws in visionaries behind “what’s new and next in retail, dining, recreation and more.”

“Our goal with this initiative is to support up-and-coming restaurateurs and retailers who would like to launch in downtown Durham but need to test their concept further before taking the next step to permanent space,” Klein said. “Our company led the redevelopment of the historic American Tobacco Campus as well as the creation of the South’s largest tech hub, American Underground. We love supporting early-stage companies and the unique energy these creative endeavors bring to Durham and our campus.”

So keep an eye on this pop-up. It could tell what new creative coffee, retail — or culinary — endeavors will succeed in Durham next.