The building at 95 Lincoln Street (at the corner of First Avenue and Lincoln), which held a tea shop called Platform T until it closed last December, is now home to the second location of Spur Coffee. Tandi Venter and her husband, Marcel, took over the space (which was once the Colorado Science Company) and launched Spur in August, after opening their first coffee shop in downtown Littleton in 2012.
The Venters moved to Denver seventeen years ago from South Africa in pursuit of adventure. "I always wanted to live in America, and I had family here," says Tandi. "I call this is our American safari." However, the name Spur is not a cowboy reference; it's based on the relationship they have with their clients — spurring on ideas — as well as a nod to doing things in the spur of the moment.
The couple also started roasting their own coffee at Spur last year, when an opportunity arose to purchase a roaster from another coffee professional leaving the state. "It was always part of our plan: If we are going to grow our brand, we need to roast our own coffee," Tandi explains. The couple's son, Tyler, runs the roaster, which is located in the Clayton neighborhood.
"We see this as our testing ground, our playground, our lab," says Tandi. "We get to see what the customers want [and] don't want, and meet the community. We want to put our roots down in communities where people feel like this is [their] home away from home."
This mindset led them to limit access to outlets in an attempt to keep "laptoppers" from monopolizing the prime seating, where Tandi hopes to see people meeting people instead. And if it gets busy, she says she has no problem asking people to meet their neighbor and share a table.
Although Spur doesn't have a liquor license yet, Tandi says it's in the works, as is a wholesale license to expand the Spur brand beyond the two cafes. For now they've got kombucha and cold brew on tap, and won't let a lack of booze get in the way of a good party. A week of celebrations kicked off this Monday, with daily pop-ups from local businesses, giveaways including coffee and treats, the debut of the full food menu, and daily happy hour from 1 to 6 p.m., with 15 percent off espresso drinks. The week culminates on Saturday with a groovy ’70s disco costume party from 8 to 11 p.m., and prizes for best-dressed and the first fifty people in the door. Normal business hours resume Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily — but the disco ball will stay.