It was a sad day for Denver coffee connoisseurs when Doug and Saadia Naiman, owners of Aviano Coffee, finally gave up on their bitter struggle with the beleaguered Beauvallon condo complex and closed the doors on their posh coffee shop in April.
But now caffeine junkies can raise their espresso cups in celebration, since Aviano's new location in Cherry Creek is ready for its grand opening this Friday -- and with it, the Naimans are ready to take Denver's coffee culture to a whole new level.
Now that the over-caffeinated cat is out of the bag, Doug is willing to admit that they secured their new digs, the former site of a Peaberry Coffee at 3031 East Second Avenue, in March before the duo even bid adieu to the Beauvallon.
Visitors to the space, marked by hand-tooled copper countertops and shelf after shelf of beans bearing the logo of Intelligentsia, the illustrious Chicago-based coffee roaster, can choose to head either to the espresso bar or the one-of-a-kind coffee bar, the latter equipped with pour-over brewers, vacuum siphons and other mad-scientist apparati the baristas will use to craft cups of joe. There are no standing containers of coffee anywhere -- each cuppa is made to order.
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"This is the opposite of Starbucks," says Doug. And customers better get used to it. There's no massive drinks menu above the counter, just a hand-written menu board listing the varietals of the day. And don't expect to get that double shot to go; a note to customers warns, "Porcelain only" for espresso. Hankering for a blended coffee drink? Better head over to 7-Eleven, since Aviano refuses to serve them.
"We won't do anything that will adulterate the quality of the coffee," says Doug. Sure, the approach won't suit everybody, but the Naimans have long dreamed of elevating the local coffee scene, and now, without the distractions of the Beauvallon, it looks like they may finally be able to do it.
"Now we're back getting to do what we want to do," says Doug. "We're not fighting anymore."