Two Rivers Coffee closed its doors in Arvada last weekend, but only to open a new, larger location a few doors down on Saturday in the same shopping center. Two Rivers shares the strip with Natural Grocers and Great Harvest Bread Co.; owner Eric Yochim says the trio of businesses are creating a high-end specialty shopping experience similar to something you'd find in Denver. "This is so good in Arvada. They want access to good coffee as much as people in Denver," he says.
Yochim bought the Arvada cafe from Novo Coffee in 2010, when as a regular customer he was approached to see if he was interested in taking over the location. As a neighborhood native who appreciated having a source of good coffee in a suburban area, Yochim dove right in.
The Atmosphere The new cafe centers around a large rectangular coffee bar that, when I visited, was still cluttered with construction materials from the move. But the clean, modern design was apparent under all the equipment. White tile and gray benches line one wall and ample bar seating will allow more customers to hang out -- one of the main reasons Yochim made the move, as the former location was often too full for all the customers to sit. And in warmer weather, guests will be able to spill out onto the thirty-seat patio.
Yochim is moving the coffee shop's popular community table to the new cafe but is rebuilding it to fit the new space because he loves the atmosphere it creates. And because the space is larger, he also moved his coffee roaster here -- visible in its glassed-in room -- from the Highland neighborhood, where he shared space with Black Eye Coffee. "It makes it easier for production and gives opportunity to share experience of roasting with the guests," he says.
Yochim is also working with a local photographer to get a fly-over photo of the Royal Gorge, which will eventually grace an entire wall of the coffeehouse.
In addition to coffee, Yochim also has his hands in the tea business. When he bought the original cafe, he was trying to find a good tea to serve, but was disappointed by the choices, so he started his own tea business, Colorado Tea Company. That branch of his operation has done well enough that he's now wholesaling tea to a handful of other cafes.
The new incarnation of Two Rivers offers a more robust menu than the original. At the last minute, Yochim and his friend and chef Chris Tegland, the former executive chef at Balistreri Wineries, decided to take advantage of the larger kitchen. Tegland will work at the cafe full-time and do all baking in-house. He's also going to introduce a "pretty dynamic menu," Yochim says, including sandwiches and spring rolls. "We're going to do a rotating menu and see what sticks," he says. "I don't know where we're going to land."
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"We're trying not to shake up the identity of Two Rivers that much, but just add to it," he adds.