A tiny coffee bar quietly opened up earlier this month in the Grant Street Mansion at 1115 Grant Street in Denver. Carmen's Cafe serves Lavazza coffee and a small assortment of South American specialties and other treats from the first floor of the sprawling, red building.
Notable selections include a limited variety of healthy-sized empanadas for $3.50 each supplied by Traditions Catering & Bakery and alfajores (sandwich cookies held together by dulce de leche and topped with powdered sugar) by Altamira. A small latte costs $2.80.
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The cafe's namesake, Carmen Sanchez, is from Argentina, which explains the cafe's culinary angle. While Sanchez originally signed on with mansion owner Dodge Meadows to supply cleaning services for the building, when a vacancy subsequently opened up, Meadows got the idea for a coffee shop. He asked Sanchez if she was interested in helping out, and she agreed.
The original idea was for the shop to be available to the mansion's 20-odd tenants -- among them various lawyers, psychologists, and health professionals, as well as a dispensary -- but the shop officially opened its doors to the neighborhood April 1, says Meadows.
Currently best-suited for takeout, Sanchez says she'd eventually like to have the mansion's expansive front porch available to customers. Meadows has some other big ideas for the space. Stay tuned for developments.
Carmen's is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 720.254.8062.