Blue Sparrow Coffee quietly debuted its second location at 1650 Platte Street last weekend. The first Blue Sparrow, which opened at 3070 Blake Street in 2017, measures in at a cozy 470 square feet. The new shop occupies almost double the space — about 800 square feet — in the main level of the newly constructed Circa Building. The additional square footage is the most noticeable difference, along with wi-fi and increased occupancy. But besides that, co-owner Jeffrey Knott, who runs the coffee shop with business partner Fiona Arnold, says the differences were intentionally kept to a minimum.
"Big picture is that they should be very similar," says Knott. "We like what we're doing as far as the menu, our pastry provider, our processes and featured roaster. When we originally built Blue Sparrow, we didn't quite realize how special it was going to be. We love what we're doing there, our employees and the neighborhood. We had a bunch of people seeking us out, requesting to open a Blue Sparrow in their buildings. Finally the opportunity came on Platte Street, and we felt like [the location] fit with what we're doing," he says.
Both coffee shops also offer similar seasonal coffee drinks, the same hours (6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 364 days a year), and — hopefully — similar vibes.
And the two Blue Sparrows both have high residential and office density in their neighborhoods, which helps with the ultimate goal of establishing relationships with regulars. "We cater to neighbors, people who live and work in the area; we're not trying to be the next big thing," says Knott. The second Blue Sparrow is also likely to be the last, according to the owner, who adds, "We're not trying to be the next local chain, [but just] keep it small and special."
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A low, wood-slat ceiling and unique wallpaper make the new Blue Sparrow warm and cozy, even though it's bigger than its older counterpart. Overflow seating in the form of comfy couches in the Circa lobby and a music system playing barista picks add to the ambience. More retail space allows for a few new items, including a Blue Sparrow chai-scented candle. "We've been making our own chai since day one," Knott points out. "Every time we're making it, people walk in saying, 'Oh, my God, what's that smell?'" So the coffee shop developed a candle that emulates the smell as closely as possible.
A bigger kitchen has allowed the new Blue Sparrow to expand its food menu; Knott says offerings including light breakfast options such as the ever-popular avocado toast, and baguette sandwiches for lunch that will roll out in mid-February.
"Just like our other location, its a hot and upcoming neighborhood, but we're on the edge of the action," says Knott. Whether you're in LoHi or RiNo, Blue Sparrow's designed to be your neighborhood cafe.
Knott and Arnold also recently opened Queens Eleven, a coffee and cocktail bar at 3603 Walnut Street, and have another cocktail bar in the works called Room for Milly on the same street as the new Blue Sparrow.