Common Grounds Coffeehouse was founded in 1992, back when the mark of a good cafe was the punniness of its name — and a good cup of java. In the intervening decades, owners Mary and Lisa Rogers ran three separate coffeeshops in a total of five addresses, the most recent of which served as a neighborhood gathering spot, community center and political rallying grounds for the likes of Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton and, more recently, Denver City Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval.
But Common Grounds poured its last cup this week, and is now closed at 2139 West 44th Avenue in Sunnyside, which had been home to the coffee shop since 2013. The Rogers family originally launched the cafe in West Highland, leasing a space at 3483 West 32nd Avenue (which is now Pizzeria Locale). They also operated a downtown Common Grounds from 1999 to 2017, which was first headquartered at 1601 17th Street before moving to 1550 17th Street. And there was a short-lived outpost in the town of Crestone in the mid-’90s.
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Common Grounds presaged the house-roasted coffee trend by a good decade, adding a roasting facility in 2004 to a building that was once a radiator shop, giving rise to the company's signature Sunnyside Radiator Blend coffee beans. That radiator shop eventually became the final home for Common Grounds after a 2013 renovation.
As they did in 1992 in Highlands Square, the Rogerses took a chance on a quiet neighborhood when they moved to Sunnyside. And just like West Highland, the neighborhood grew around them. West 44th Avenue is now home to multiple restaurants, bars and shops, especially since the 2015 opening of the Cobbler's Corner shopping center in 2015.
Edward and Mary Rogers purchased the Sunnyside building from North Metro Radiator Inc. in 2004, according to city records, and are still listed as the owners.