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UMBC’s Oca Mocha coffee shop in Arbutus delayed again

The exterior of OCA Mocha, a new community space and cafe in Arbutus.
The exterior of OCA Mocha, a new community space and cafe in Arbutus. (Cody Boteler / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Due to “unfortunate delays in construction work,” Oca Mocha, a coffee shop and community space from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County along the main East Drive corridor in Arbutus, is once again facing a delay in its opening, said Michael Berardi and Deep Patel, student co-founders.

The coffee shop, which originally was supposed to open in the fall 2018. After delays the past year, a grand opening was scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28. Patel and Berardi said in a statement they would announce a new opening date “very soon.”

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Marie Lily, director of community engagement at UMBC, said her understanding is that severe weather kept electricians from doing planned work one night, “which threw off the entire completion schedule, as they had other jobs lined up.”

Lily said Oca Mocha would open before the end of the semester, which starts Wednesday, but did not have a concrete date.

University officials attributed earlier delays to securing local contractors; the students involved with the project felt it was important to hire local labor as much as possible in order to support the community around the UMBC campus.

The coffee shop started as a project in a UMBC classroom. Part of the building will be dedicated to serving coffee and food, and part will function as office and meeting space for community and university groups to use.

Once open, Oca Mocha will be operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays, with some adjusted hours for weekends, according to students involved with the store. They said they wanted it to be open early enough for people to get coffee on the way to work or school, and late enough for students who are studying.

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