Emily Hurd could have given up after she lost the lease at her cafe and artists' community space, Anecdote, at 955 Bannock Street. After only six months in business between fall 2017 and spring 2018, the rug was pulled out from under Anecdote when the property owner decided to demolish the building. But Hurd found a new space at 820 Sherman Street — and then faced more challenges as nearly every piece of equipment she'd inherited from the previous tenant, Black Eye Coffee, began to fail. Multiple repairs were needed on the espresso machine, dishwasher, kegerator and oven, pushing an opening date from 2018 into the new year. But Hurd persisted, and Anecdote will open to the public on Tuesday, January 29.
"Now it's time to be associated with a different kind of story, instead of just what's gone wrong," Anecdote's owner says.
And so the original vision for the cafe will come to life: a coffeehouse with a daily selection of housemade pastries and other food items; a gathering space for Denver's artists and creative professionals; a venue for music, comedy, classes, demos and collaborative events; a neighborhood hangout for cocktails and warming drinks. Coffee beans will come from Novo Coffee.
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Anecdote's space retains its art-deco look, which is definitely a sumptuous step up from the bare-bones decor at its previous location (which was home to Rooster & Moon before that). But there are new flourishes added by Hurd, including a new version of the Anecdote logo. It's an octopus unfurling its limbs over the name of the cafe, one leg curling to become the "o" in Anecdote. Hurd says the image of the octopus is a recurring symbol in art and literature, and to her it represents "the many arms of creativity."
Inside, the walls are a little bare, but they'll soon be filled with creations from local artists. There's also a vending machine set to dispense notepads bound in colorful colors until artists can take it over and fill it with unique objects small enough to be sold through the machine's slot.
But visual arts won't be the only form of creativity on display at Anecdote. Hurd is planning to host poetry readings, writers' workshops, storytelling and film screenings, among other happenings.
Anecdote will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., staying open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Hurd says she will reserve Mondays for private events and groups that want to utilize the space for creative endeavors. For more information, call 720-502-4904 or visit the cafe's website.