Sometimes we finished totally finished cafes on the Build-Outs feature series. Other times, it’s a rare opportunity to check in on a cafe being built out before our very eyes. That’s the story here with Bandido Coffee in Birmingham, Alabama. This is a “a Latino-owned coffee shop with Latino products and Latino flavor,” per founder Oscar Alcantar, and the cafe is ambitious in its goals and designs for coffee. Let’s learn more.

The 2024 Build-Outs of Coffee is presented by Ceado and Dona. The 2024 Build-outs of Coffee is sponsored by Pacific Barista SeriesLa Marzocco, and Ghirardelli

DONA tea, Equitably sources teas and tisanes
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat
DONA chai, specialty coffee's other half
DONA Cardamom Rose
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat
DONA now serving Matcha
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat

As told to Sprudge by Oscar Alcantar.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

We are Bandido Coffee, owned by Raul and operated by me Oscar. A brief summary about the company is we want to fill a niche in the coffee scene here in Birmingham, AL. What is missing is a Latino-owned coffee shop with Latino products and Latino flavor. With Raul being a barber for close to 13 years and myself being a barista for close to five years. We both made the decision to combine our passion for coffee and our Mexican heritage to open Bandido Coffee. Our goal is to make recipes using Latino products and serve Latino pastries and share our heritage within the Birmingham community. We also want to share our childhood, nostalgic flavors with every sip taken from our coffee. For our branding we don’t want to be minimalistic, we want Bandido to be edgier—almost like a dive bar. It’ll be a little rougher around the edges, a different twist, and with great coffee.

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Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

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Right in the heart of the Five Points community in downtown Birmingham, we are very fortunate to acquire this location with an amazing outdoor sitting area as well as interior sitting. We’re right down the street from UAB campus and UAB Hospital. With new apartments getting build a few blocks down the street we’re super excited to welcome the new residents with our coffee shop.

What’s your approach to coffee?

We want to highlight everyone’s hard work and dedication to making a cup of coffee. From the farmers who harvest it and take care of the processing process. To when it’s shipped and roasted and ready to brew. We want to ensure every cup of coffee is made with care and love to show the appreciation and to honor everyone who put their time and effort into making this a possibility. The way we’re going to do this is by focusing on our quality by making our flavors in house to ensure that everything is made correctly and focusing on our ratios to keep the consistency of our coffee.

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Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

We’re still on the search for our equipment but we have our eyes set on a La Marzocco espresso machine. We want to get the best equipment to help us on our goal to making the best cup of coffee possible.

How is your project considering sustainability?

We want to create a community not only with the Five Points community but also with all of Birmingham. We’re also focusing on building a relationship with our partners and looking to create relationships with farmers in the future. We’re fortunate to obtain a space that previously housed a coffee shop, we aim to utilize the existing infrastructure, minimizing waste and the need for a complete demolition and rebuild. By making our own syrups we’ll ensure we make what we need to avoid waste.

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

July!

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Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

We want to give a huge shout out to Non-Fiction Coffee. They were really welcoming from the start and we’re proud to be using their coffee when we open.

Thank you!

Bandido Coffee is located at 1024 20th St S Unit 103 Birmingham. Follow them on Instagram.

The 2024 Build-Outs of Coffee is presented by Ceado and Dona. The 2024 Build-outs of Coffee is sponsored by Pacific Barista SeriesLa Marzocco, and Ghirardelli