Cafe Society

NOVO opening two new coffeehouses/retail stores in Denver

In December of last year, Jake Brodsky, the chief bean at NOVO Coffee, shuttered his only retail location, at the Denver Art Museum, moving his entire operation -- roasting, retail, coffee-cupping classes and all -- to his existing roasting facility at 3008 Larimer Street.

But while the museum location didn't pan out for Brodsky and his crew, they've been searching for new locations ever since, and come mid-November, a currently vacant space at 1600 Glenarm Street will house a NOVO Coffee retail store -- plus, if all goes well, an opportunity to sit back and relax with with a local beer or glass of wine. And by the end of the year, Brodsky will open a second retail coffeehouse at 1700 East Sixth Avenue, next door to Satchel's on Sixth.

"We finally signed a lease on the downtown location yesterday after looking for a new space almost immediately after we closed the museum one, but it took a little longer than expected," says Brodsky, who's sealed the deal on the Sixth Avenue address, as well.

The Glenarm space, which is 1,000 square feet, boasts "great street frontage, very high ceilings and a simple and efficient bar layout," he reveals -- and that will come in handy, since Brodsky plans to serve pastries and pour beer and wine, hopefully to the 500-plus inhabitants who occupy the above floors. "We're thrilled with how the design is coming along, and we have a great base of residents to draw traffic from -- plus the16th street mall, downtown offices and the Paramount Theatre are all potentially great draws for us, too."

And, he admits, "we're already feeling a demand in that area for our coffee," which doesn't surprise him. "I'm thrilled with the direction the local coffee culture is heading in general," says Brodsky. "Baristas, roasters, chefs, beverage directors and quality-focused consumers are all helping to raise expectations of what quality coffee is in Denver and throughout the state," he adds. And, he continues, "having our own retail locations gives us some valuable space to showcase our coffees and also help promote our wholesale customers."

The Gilpin store, he tells me, was an immediate attraction. "We immediately loved it when we saw it, and with good visibility, great retail neighbors and an experienced and supportive landlord" -- which just happens to be Larimer Associates -- "we jumped on it." Brodsky will take possession of the space -- a former antiques store -- in late September, he says, and "hopefully hit the ground running with a build-out" that, if all goes according to plan, will allow him to open by December 1. And while he's not rushing to secure a liquor license for this space, he's contemplating adding a breakfast menu to go along with pastries.

And both locations will offer cupping classes, java tastings and other coffee-centric special events.

"We're absolutely thrilled to be opening these two locations, and what a great way to celebrate our tenth anniversary," says Brodsky.