Business

Mutiny Information Cafe Launches GoFundMe to Help Repair Damages

Mutiny Information cafe has a board covering up the smashed in windows.
Mutiny Information cafe has a board covering up the smashed in windows. Katrina Leibee
Mutiny Information Cafe, one of Denver's most beloved venues that combines a coffee shop with a book and record store and performance space, is seeking help from the community after experiencing a run of bad luck.

According to co-owner Jim Norris, someone smashed in the front door in May, and two plate glass windows next to the door were broken early last week. The cost of repairs is hefty, with the door repair running $2,000 to repair and the two windows $3,000.

In addition to the damages, co-owner Matt Megyesi has been suffering from near-fatal health scares since January. Norris says he's had to take on a lot of the business side of the cafe since Megyesi has been sick.

Norris's partner, Jessica Halpine, started a GoFundMe on July 21 asking the community for help, and it has raised $11,070 of its $35,000 goal.

The damages to the cafe are only a slice of what the store's location at 2 South Broadway has been through. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen recently announced that Colfax and Broadway is one of the city's five "hot spots" for violent crime. "We've had employees quit because they thought it was unsafe around here," Norris says. "It's why we reduced the hours." The cafe has about thirteen employees right now, while in the past it has  had upwards of twenty.

The hours have been cut from 10  to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from midnight to 10 p.m. on weekends. And Norris has been in the cafe a lot more. "You can't leave a kid in here by themselves," he says.

Mutiny Information Cafe had to put an end to its community fridge, a mutual aid project that began in 2020, with a refrigerator outside the building stocked by neighbors for anyone in need. Norris says he closed the fridge because it "got too violent," explaining that he would see people take food out, then throw it on the ground and completely waste it.

Mutiny Information Cafe is known for its creative atmosphere, its expansive stock, and its little quirks. Visitors might come in to see the black cat, Biggie, who often sleeps peacefully on the counter or in a musician's guitar case, or to get a specialty drink, the most recent being the vasectomy latte, a peanut-butter and chocolate drink meant as a dig at the recent Roe v. Wade decision.

Norris says it's disheartening that a place with such a strong customer base is experiencing this, but he has hopes that Mutiny will get through it and Denver will get to keep a cherished independent  store.

"Denver needs this. There's nothing like this," Norris says.

Find Mutiny Information Cafe's GoFundMe here.
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Katrina Leibee, a recent graduate of Colorado State University, is an editorial fellow at Westword, covering politics, business and culture.
Contact: Katrina Leibee