A Historic Masonry Stove Becomes the Hidden Gem of a New Cafe

By Paige Alexus
Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, is a new player on the local scene that has become the hottest spot in town.

Enter Tipico Coffee, a small cafe that promises both locals and visitors a cozy place to relax, work, gather, or just grab a cup of coffee on the run. Opened by first-time business owner Jesse Crouse, the young Chicago-hailing coffee aficionado dove into this venture in the hopes of bringing high-quality coffee and seasonal ingredients to a historic neighborhood—all while keeping it modern and ever-evolving.

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As local design firms are well aware, Buffalo is more known for its historic architecture rather than being a host for modern design. Thus, whenever the chance reveals itself to transform a forgotten old building into a contemporary space, it’s seen as a major victory. So is the case with the team at Davidson Rafailidis, the architectural firm that brought this welcoming space to life. Read on to see how the project came together and the details that make visiting this space an experience in itself.

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When Georg Rafailidis and Stephanie Davidson approached the project, they were faced with a small—880 square feet to be exact—space that had become a neglected corner store years after its creation in 1929. It was a singular addition that had been connected to a three-story brick house that was built in 1880. Most recently, the space had been empty for almost five years and was waiting for its salvation. 

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