Brighton, start your engines.
Jeff Bonasia and Rick Vallarelli spent over a year plotting their vision for a cafe. What came of that year is
an accessible coffee house that’s innovative, inspirational and celebrates the American “can-do” spirit: Fuel America.
The two friends come from diverse backgrounds: Jeff was previously in marketing and advertising for early morning power players like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Rick was a hockey player training for the Olympics in Europe before a career-ending concussion. With Jeff’s history in marketing a streamlined breakfast that appeals to customers with both product and price, and Rick’s construction history aiding in the physical design of the cafe, Fuel America Cafe was conceived.
The year spent searching for the right location was well worth it—the space is beautiful and offers ample seating with a large communal table, coffee bar, counter seats, benches and small tables.
The cafe was designed with consideration to computer users and has ample plugs and complimentary Wi-Fi. There’s tremendous attention to detail: reclaimed wood from Cambridge panels the walls, beautiful Edison bulbs and other vintage light fixtures add a classy touch, and there’s an ever-expanding library.
Quality coffee was the first and foremost goal opening Fuel. After many trips to roasters all over the country, Bonasia, Vallarelli, and Head Barista Robert Evangelista of Espresso Royale Cafe settled on New Harvest Coffee out of Pawtucket, RI.
Fuel brews multiple offerings of both drip and pour over coffees and espressos, as well as flavored steamed milk, teas, smoothies, and homemade soda.
Pastries are baked in house available around the clock, including fresh loaves of bread to carry out. Chef Michael Serva was enlisted to create a menu that offers salads (our favorite’s the Beet & Goat Cheese Salad) and sandwiches, like the “West Coast” (Brie Cheese, Arugula, Dried Figs and Homemade Pumpkin Seed Pesto). Stop by for breakfast and you’ll find breakfast plates including various types of toast and omelets. Menu highlights include the Ricotta and Honey Toast ($2.89), Vanilla Cardamom Whoopie Pies ($2.50), and the Cucumber Ginger ‘Soda’ ($3.59).
The community’s response to the cafe has been overwhelmingly supportive since day one.
The rebirth of the neighborhood following a devastating fire last year across the street from Fuel last year is obvious even to the untrained eye—street parking is filling up and there’s talk of installing a bike rack outside. After spending so long seeking the perfect space, Fuel is hoping to ramp up its community involvement in the coming months with aspirations of hosting barista competitions and open mic nights.
There’s no denying that Fuel America is a thoughtfully designed space, both aesthetically appealing and customer-friendly, but it’s the attention to detail that sets Fuel apart from its competitors.
Get a coffee here and you’ll see the dozen of flat-out adorable personal touches that Fuel adds to everyday business that offers an out of the ordinary coffee experience.
FUEL AMERICA CAFE
152 CHESTNUT HILL AVE.
MON-WED, FRI-SUN 7AM-6PM, THU 7AM-9PM