The neighborhood surrounding the University of Denver has always been transient, at least where restaurants are concerned, but the latest joint in which to get a beverage and a bite seems to have staying power. Beantree Coffee and Deli, which recently opened at 2076 South University, is one of those places that lends itself to lingering, and yesterday, when I stopped by, college kids, their noses buried in books, had made sure that there wasn't an empty seat in the two-room space.
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Owners Suemin Suh and her husband, John, already run a Beantree Coffee in Aurora, which pours java, but this location, wedged between a yogurt joint and a Philly cheesesteak spot, also serves boba in various flavors, a board of breakfast dishes, sandwiches and a smattering of Korean dishes, including bibimbap and a Korean bulgogi wrap with marinated beef and spicy red-pepper paste, both of which are indicative of Suemin's upbringing in South Korea.
"When we opened this, we felt like it should be more than just a place to get coffee," says Suemin. "We wanted people to be able to get something to eat, too, and since I'm from South Korea, I wanted to add a few Korean dishes to the menu," she adds, although she admits that they're created with an American palate in mind. "They're a little Americanized and a little different, but still delicious," she says, noting that she plans to expand the menu and feature daily specials that pull from Korea and elsewhere.
And one of her biggest draws, she says, is her pricing, designed to appeal to a college kid's poor budget. "Compared to a lot of other places, we're definitely inexpensive and priced for students, who seem to really appreciate that we've kept our prices low," she notes. A big plate of waffles, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, is $5.99, for example, as are her crepes -- savory and sweet. Sandwiches, served with chips and pickles, are all under $7, and her Korean dishes are $8.
Her breads and pastries are sourced from Bluepoint Bakery, Aspen Baking Company and My Favorite Muffin -- all local -- and Beantree's coffee beans, which she also sells by the half-pound and pound from a wall devoted to nothing but java, come from Silver Canyon, Coda and an out-of-state purveyor. "We use different beans for different coffees, and we went with three different roasters, because what one didn't have, the other did," she says.
And it's a relaxed and comfortable space in which to gather and get your jolt of caffeine, which is exactly what Suemin and John envisioned. "It's just a nice place to get a coffee and something good to eat, and it seems like our customers feel the same way," she says.
For a trek through the space -- and some of Suemin's food offerings -- flip the page.
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Beantree is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, call 720-524-6489.