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Central California Life Magazine

New Coffee Bistro Opens In the Tower District

Sep 19, 2017 02:14PM ● By Richard Melella

Hi-Top Coffee Opens Sept. 14 in the Tower District

FRESNO, Calif. – Three friends who met at MetalMark climbing gym are putting the final touches on a specialty coffee shop, Hi-Top Coffee, opening Thursday, September 14th at 7am. The shop, located at 1306 N. Wishon Avenue in the Tower District, will feature specialty coffee, artisan teas, gourmet toasts, and doughnuts in a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

The coffee industry is not new to Aaron Bagato, one of the owners of Hi-Top Coffee. Bagato started as a barista in Montana, and after moving back to his hometown, worked for Raizana Tea, and helped Kuppa Joy coffee open their Fresno location. Most recently, Bagato worked at Lanna Coffee where he traveled to Thailand and learned the full circle of third wave coffee, from sourcing, to roasting, brewing and serving. Bagato will work as the operations and education arm of Hi-Top Coffee, and co-owners Spencer and Karsyn Suvanto will work as business managers and direct social media and marketing.

The trio initially bonded over rock climbing, and quickly learned of another shared love; craft coffee. The Suvantos purchased a La Marzocco Strada EP, a rare, custom espresso machine that provided a catalyst for their coffee shop plans. Construction on the shop began in May, with the help of Karsyn’s father, Joe Parker, owner of Karsyn Construction. The space, formally Café Corazon, was gutted and is currently being remodeled into a comfortable space with natural concrete floors, wooden tabletops, hexagon tiles, large windows, and a custom mural by local artist Quinn Bowman.

“Our goal with Hi-Top Coffee is to create a quality experience from beginning to end; from the moment it is picked, all the way to the final product served,” said Bagato, who considers himself a barista above a business owner. “Although we are providing a top quality experience, we are not pretentious about the end cup of coffee, mainly because we realize there are so many hands along the way that helped create that single cup.”

Hi-Top Coffee will sell and serve craft coffee from primary roasters Cat & Cloud, based in Santa Cruz and started by a team of national barista champions whose values and mission mirror those of Hi-Top Coffee founders. The shop will feature Cat & Cloud’s flagship blend “The Answer” for espresso drinks, and will rotate in single origin coffees as they become seasonally available. Hi-Top Coffee also plans to be a multi-roaster shop, bringing in guest roasters on its pour-over menu each month.

Artisan teas will be offered from Kilogram Tea, an offshoot of Intelligentsia, and gourmet toasts will feature local, fresh-baked bread. A Hi-Top Coffee mobile cart is also in the works, available for private event catering.


“We are intentionally hiring friendly people and are eager to share our love and knowledge of coffee to any customers who want to learn,” said Bagato. “Above all else, we want to create a place that offers people a great cup of coffee, a smile, and hopefully a better day.”

Shop hours will be Monday through Saturday, 7:00am to 10:00pm, and Sundays from 8:00am to 8:00pm. For more information and the latest on opening dates, please visit

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Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot