f you were lucky enough to be one of the first guests at the recently opened Drip Coffee in East Greenwich, you’ve likely already been swept away by the energetic blue walls, the relaxed and open floor plan, and the elegant-meets-nautical fixtures that imbue the espresso bar. This vibe is exactly what owner Steven Mignanelli, along with wife Allie and business partner Sarah Grillo, envisioned for the new cafe. “Our goal was to create an open concept that captured a comfortable, relaxing-yet-fun atmosphere for our customers to sit in and enjoy or grab a quick order and go,” he says.
To bring his vision to life, Mignanelli enlisted local expert Michelle Lee Parenteau of Michelle Lee Designs to transform the 2,600-square-foot space. Having designed for his family in the past – the popular Richard’s Pub and Ritrovo, both in East Greenwich – Mignanelli knew Parenteau’s signature “sand and sea” aesthetic would be the perfect fit for Drip Coffee. “We knew she would be our go-to for help with colors, lighting, countertops, flooring, etc. She is a pro at her craft,” he says of the Johnston-based interior designer.
With a penchant for mixing colors and textures, Parenteau started with a palette of bright blue, white, and tan, complemented by navy for accent walls and doors (Sherwin-Williams’ Anchors Aweigh). For texture, she incorporated a grass-weave wallpaper, pendant lights wrapped in a thick rope detail, and a mix of metal and leather chairs and stools. To further tie in a coastal vibe, she included ocean-inspired artwork. Described simply, she identifies this aesthetic as “warm and inviting with bold pops of color.”
When it comes to function, Mignanelli was hoping to create a space that would lend itself to relaxed downtime with friends and family, or professional time spent working on laptops or meeting with clients. For this reason, they chose to include both high- and low-top stools, and a comfortable lounge area, with most seats in close proximity to outlets or USB ports. To establish a streamlined flow for customers, they kept the ordering and sitting areas open.
The cafe has only been open for a couple of months, but Mignanelli says the early feedback has been extremely positive. “We cannot say enough how grateful and thankful we are to have the support of our customers and community,” he says. “We look forward to continuing to serve those who come in daily and all new customers that come through our doors for many many years.” 2725 South County Trail, East Greenwich
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