North Seattle’s coffee scene is kicking things up a notch. In the works for over a year, a new cafe called Santo Coffee Co. — co-owned by Seattle Sounders icon Fredy Montero, who now plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps — will have its grand opening this Sunday in the Roosevelt neighborhood, serving up Colombian coffee and panela lattes (made with Colombian sugar and orange bitters).

Sense a theme? Montero and his wife Alexis (along with business partners Mikhail and Jessica Ghyvoronsky) wanted to honor the soccer player’s home country of Colombia, which means flying in Devoción beans, a third wave coffee supplier that specializes in fair-trade Colombian roasts. They didn’t choose that company lightly. “We did a blind tasting of over 200 coffees to choose Devoción,” says Mikhail Ghyvoronsky.

The spot itself looks pretty slick, with plush green vintage couches, floor to ceiling windows, and gleaming espresso machines from high-end maker Victoria Arduino. Located in a quiet neighborhood close to Roosevelt High School and down the road from a host of destination restaurants, including JuneBaby, Santo seems to be going for a polished upscale experience, rather than a “shaggy coffeehouse with poetry readings” vibe. It will have seating for around 40 and free wifi. Food will include pastries from Semillon Bakery in Capitol Hill, which specializes in croissants, cookies, and cakes.

Shoutout to our amigo @john__hong for the heat. Thank you for capturing our space and them vibes ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️ #comingverysoon

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In a town that loves its coffee, Santo will have to pull out all the stops and star power to stand out. To that end, though Montero is no longer a Sounder, he’ll be on hand Sunday to sign autographs and give his business a boost.

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