The downtown coffee shop scene got two new names on Monday.
Zack’s Coffee, Teas and Gifts was officially rebranded as The Vic Downtown and Amplified Cafe opened in the new commercial space in the Thompson Nicola Regional District building, next to the library.
Kamloops city councillor Denis Walsh and business partner Todd Mason purchased Zack’s, which is located in a heritage building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Victoria Street, and took possession in April with plans to make changes.
On Monday, one of those changes was revealed — a new name, hoisted outside via circular sign and to the windows, in vinyl.
“We just thought we wanted to refresh everything,” Walsh said.
The previous coffee shop moniker was named for the first owner, Dan Zacharias. The new name is intended to be a punchy nickname for the street upon which the cafe presides.
However, it also had an unplanned and unexpected tie to the cafe’s new manager, Vicky.
“We should have called it Vicky’s on Vic,” Walsh joked.
Other changes to the coffee shop still to come include new seating and the hiring of additional staff.
As for a previous issue related to honouring old gift certificates, Walsh called it a “rookie mistake” and he said the cafe has been honouring them. He said they were initially concerned about how many could be out there because the coffee shop had been own for so long.
Meanwhile, further down the road, Amplified Cafe opened at 465 Victoria St. on Monday in the TNRD building next to the library.
TNRD communications manager Michelle Nordstrom said the coffee shop is a “really beautiful space” with high ceilings and natural light, serving up hot and cold drinks, baked goods and paninis.
“Really just to offer a place where people could get a cold or hot beverage and enjoy our library space,” Nordstrom said.
“We’ve got a large seating area connected to the cafe.”
Coffee shop patrons can bring the drinks into the library, so long as they have a lid, to enjoy while browsing for books. Alternatively, Nordstrom said library patrons can take out a book and read it in the cafe.
The opening of Amplified Cafe marks the final stage of a years-long major renovation to the downtown library and TNRD building.
“We’re always looking to improve our spaces,” Nordstrom said.