Jobot holds grand reopening during First Friday

Jobot owner John Sagasta reinstalls the cigarette wastebins on the patio of the new Jobot, which took over the location of O.S.B. coffee on Roosevelt St. (Craig Johnson/DD)

Jobot Coffee & Diner will hold its grand reopening tonight at its new location on Third and Roosevelt streets, formerly Oliver’s Sophisticated Bean.

Jobot closed its location at Fifth and Roosevelt streets last month when owner and founder John Sagasta wasn’t able to renew the business’s lease on the building.

Oliver Bryan, the owner of Oliver’s Sophisticated Bean, approached Sagasta a few days before Jobot closed, Sagasta said. OSB announced on Facebook shortly afterwards that it would be “going in a different direction” in which Bryan’s parents, Gregory and Juli Bryan, would no longer be part of the operation of the coffee shop.

According to Sagasta, Bryan and partner Ray Lamb are still the owners in the new business model, but Jobot’s staff will be running the operations.

Bryan and Lamb were unavailable for comment on this story.

After soft openings this week beginning on Tuesday, the coffee shop will be open from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. today, and a DJ will perform outside during First Friday festivities. Sagasta said going forward Jobot would keep the same weekday hours, 7 a.m. to midnight, but it will begin to close at 3 a.m. on weekends as opposed to staying open 24 hours.

The interior of the shop has been fitted with much of Jobot’s old furniture. Next to the front door are several armchairs with footrest benches in front of them. The tables from their previous location in Jobot’s main room sit directly in front of the bar. In the corner of the front room there is a table with several board games sitting on top. In the side room, there’s a few more tables, a couch and a staircase which leads to an office with an Arizona state flag hanging from an indoor window.

Sagasta said the atmosphere of the new location will not be created by the people who work there, but by the people who go there.

“We don’t have a lot of control over what direction it goes,” Sagasta said. “It’s the people that come to it every day, year in year out, that really kind of create and shape the feel of it.”

Sagasta is excited about the new space and said it has a lot to offer, such as a larger space than the original as well as a cold kitchen. Sagasta said he thinks the new space offers more comfort to patrons of the shop too. He said he’s not worried about the new location having the same vibe as the old one.

Sagasta put a sign next to the cash register that says “Not Jobot”, a reference to a business Sagasta opened years ago next to Jobot’s original location named nachobot, so people know it won’t be the same anymore.

“There’s a charm about the original location that we’ll never be able to duplicate,” Sagasta said.

The new location has its employees both excited and conflicted about Jobot’s future.

Kyong Rhee, who helps lead operations at Jobot, said after Jobot closed, the entire staff at the original location was laid off but many who worked there had come to work in its new home.

One of those who came back was Alejandra Muñoz. Muñoz said she had been working at Jobot since September but she has been coming there since it existed.

“Every time I would stop by, whether it be to work or just grab a coffee, I would always see someone I knew,” Muñoz said. “[For] a lot of people it was like their second home, as cliche as that sounds.”

Muñoz said at first she was hesitant about Jobot reopening in a new location, but she has since come to terms with the idea and gotten excited about it. Muñoz said she was not sure if the location would be as homely or provide the same atmosphere as Jobot’s Fifth Street location did.

“I think what really puts people off about this location is that instead of fighting the gentrification that essentially took over old Jobot we’ve kind of become a part of it,” Muñoz said.

Pablo Sapien, a former manager at Jobot’s old location, said he was optimistic Jobot’s new location would be able to have the same kind of atmosphere as the old one. He pointed out even at the old location there were issues with certain patrons when changes were made.

“It’s just a new building, you’re gonna have people not support it but we had the same issue when we expanded Jobot,” Sapien said. “Jobot was basically a hallway, so when we expanded it and knocked out the wall and made the sitting room a lot of people stopped going because it wasn’t the same hole-in-the-wall hallway.”

Contact the reporter at dmperle@asu.edu.