Denver Coffee Company Huckleberry Roasters Opening in Larimer Square | Westword

Huckleberry Roasters Opening Location in Larimer Square

"We want to be welcoming; we want to be approachable and delight folks who come in with the coffee that we work so hard to produce."
The homegrown company's six shop will be in Larimer Square.
The homegrown company's six shop will be in Larimer Square. Koan Goedman
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Huckleberry Roasters is set to open its sixth location next month in a former Starbucks at 1406 Larimer Street.

The homegrown Huckleberry started roasting coffee in 2011 and has been growing ever since. It signed a lease for the space in October, shortly after opening a new location in Wheat Ridge, but didn't start renovating the Larimer Square address until late December.

"What’s nice about a second-generation coffee shop is we aren’t reinventing anything," says owner Koan Goedman. "We don’t touch infrastructure, don’t change anything in any major way. We focus on TLC — updating the interior with lighter colors, bringing in some brightness, some stuff that speaks to Huck brand and experience."

One of the signature ways that Huck brightened the spot was by commissioning artists Olive Moya and Rae World to collaborate on a mural inside the cafe. Moya has done murals for all five of Huck's other locations, too.

The space is long, narrow and about 1,200 square feet, but it's not the smallest Huck shop. The company's locations range from the OG neighborhood shop in Sunnyside to the more tourist-facing Dairy Block outlet.

"I think we definitely learn lessons every time we open a new one, and I think what remains true is that what we think we do really well is build relationships," Goedman says.

click to enlarge
A mural by Olive Moya and Rae World in the new spot.
Koan Goedman
Huck Larimer Square's menu includes classic coffee drinks starring house-roasted beans, along with tea and matcha. Because of space constraints, it won't have a full food menu — instead, it'll focus on a variety of grab-and-go items like pastries from Rebel Bread and burritos from Bonfire Burritos, both staples at Huck's other locations.

"The flow of traffic worked when it was Starbucks, but it was a lot of grab-and-go...not a sit-down, co-working space," says Goedman. But with Huck's Larimer Square spot, he notes, "there will be some space for that, for sure."

The preservation and redevelopment of Larimer Square, Denver's first designated historic district, has been something of a hot-button issue since it was purchased for $92.5 million by North Carolina-based investment firm Asana Partners in late 2020. Since ownership changed hands, many long-term tenants have moved out for a variety of reasons, citing rising rent prices, communication issues and construction related to restoration and repairs. But as Asana points out, work on the vintage buildings was long overdue.

Most of the facades have now been restored, and the 1400 block remains closed to vehicular traffic, a change made during the pandemic that has the potential to become permanent. But with many of the storefronts empty, there's not much pedestrian traffic, either.

"There’s sort of a refresh that I think Larimer Square needs to have to re-engage, specifically with locals," says Goedman. "I think local folks don’t go to Larimer Square right now."

A local himself, Goedman is excited to be part of the block's revitalization, and is looking forward to opening the shop by early June.

"We want to be welcoming; we want to be approachable and delight folks who come in, both with the coffee that we work so hard to produce — we are, at our core, a coffee manufacturer — and the experience," he says. "And we think that Huck Larimer Square will be another opportunity to do that."
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