As of last Friday, the newest addition to the Denver coffee scene lives in the booming RiNo neighborhood. Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen aims to introduce an Australian-style café to Denver as a change from typical American coffee or brunch spots. Owners Amy Cohen and Hayden Barnie bring inspiration from their pedigree as adventurers abroad. Barnie, originally from New Zealand, and Cohen, from Illinois, met in Japan and moved to Australia together, where their love of food and coffee continued to grow. Barnie, an espresso machine mechanic for more than ten years, worked for Coffee Supreme in both New Zealand and Australia. Cohen also worked in the coffee business while in Australia and then for Boxcar Coffee Roasters upon relocating to Denver.
The couple traveled around the U.S. with the intent of finding a city to open a coffee shop in. While they visited many places they thought were great, Cohen thinks that Denver has something special and loves how the coffee community here comes with open arms. “Everyone is really supportive of each other and happy to show each other what they are doing. People here aren’t so guarded like in other places,” she notes.
Cohen also explains how great the coffee culture is in Australia: “You can go to any café and get great coffee and great food. It’s not as separated like it is in the U.S. and we wanted to bring that culture here.”
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The coffee menu will always carry Boxcar in addition to another rotating roaster, currently Corvus. The menu will also change seasonally, serving breakfast and lunch everyday except Tuesday (which is Adventure Day for the couple). Hungry patrons can find quick service and a diverse menu that’s on the lighter side, with lots of veggie options. Cohen’s mother, Yoko, is from Japan and can be found in the kitchen from time to time; her cooking has inspired menu items like Japanese curry.
Cohen’s favorite is the super-grain Bircher muesli: oats soaked in organic pear juice with super-grains and seeds, toasted almonds, whipped yogurt and fresh and poached fruit; Bernie raves about the dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend) eggs and trout: a Middle-eastern dish of grilled asparagus, smoked trout, tzaziki and dukkah-rolled poached eggs on Babette’s pullman bread.
Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays (except adventure Tuesday) and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.