More and more, professionals are shunning the conventional office setting when they can. In Denver, some of the steady-growing army of self-employed and remote workers are opting for work collectives and non-traditional office options that have become increasingly available, but others still favor good old coffee shops, bee-lining for the first available power source they find and calling it their office for the day.
Here, in no particular order are some of our favorite local coffee shops to be productive.
10) The Desk 230 East 13th Avenue The Desk is as clean and sterile of a work place as you can get: if you decide to sit in the front, you'll be surrounded by the respectful silence of fellow professionals with their eyes glued to laptops. Oriental rugs, bright lighting, and quiet, ambient music ensure you feel no sense of clutter. In fact, The Desk fancies itself as "A Place to Create." Should you buy a membership, you'll have access to an even more tranquil back room, with access to private conference rooms, rented desks, ergonomic chairs and printers.
9) Steam Espresso Bar 1801 South Pearl Street As we attested to in our Patio of the Day feature, Steam is a near-perfect coffee shop, especially when it comes to getting things done. Outfitted with a coffee bar (that pours Boxcar Coffee and serves up Trompeau pastries), community table, secluded back seating area, and a sprawling patio, remote workers have their pick of concentration-inducing work stations. Phone calls can be taken in their idyllic back yard.
8) Denver Bicycle Cafe 1308 East 17th Avenue Denver Bicycle Cafe is something of a camp-out for creative professionals and students. On any given day, the community table will be packed with people meeting, whether it be a lively brainstorming assembly or a serious cram session. And with several brewing methods to choose from, you can get your buzz on with coffee from local roasters, and keep it going with their impressively curated selection of draft and canned beers as the afternoon ebbs on. If you haven't seen the sun in a few hours, retire to the gracious patio for a few minutes of relaxation before getting back to the grind -- and If you commute by bike, your office-for-a-day also serves as a tune-up shop.
7) Rooster & Moon 955 Bannock Street Rooster and Moon is generally packed, but if you're lucky enough to get a seat and a power source, and if you thrive off the distraction of an ever-rotating set of table-seekers, it's the place for you. Flatbread breakfast sandwiches and coffee give way to sandwiches, salads, and beer in the afternoon -- fuel (in whatever form you like it) to get you through the day and friendly service, to boot.
6) Happy Coffee 1 South Broadway Happy Coffee is South Broadway's answer to a hip workspace. And whether you're looking for endless productivity or just trying to look like you are, you'll want to go for the coffee alone. The way the baristas geek out on their espresso here is unmatched -- and they'll be sure to provide the buzz you need with thoughtful service and bean education. Patrons can sit downstairs or disappear for a few hours on the upper deck.
5) Boxcar 3459 Ringsby Court Boxcar's newest outpost in TAXI, the mixed-use creative hub, emanates simplicity and fosters inspiration with a can-do attitude that all but permeates the air the second you enter. If an abundance of productivity is what you seek, you'll find it here with plenty of tables as well as a more secluded upper deck of seating, perfect for honing your inner creative genius. Boxcar Coffee is poured from a small central station, with several pastry options like homemade pop tarts and scones. If you need something more substantial, Fuel's sandwich incarnation, Refuel, is located in the same lobby.
4) St. Mark's Coffee House 2019 East 17th Avenue This beloved neighborhood coffee house is busy from the morning into the depths of the night. People deep in their studies or engaged in enlightened conversation combine for the makings of a true coffee house experience. Rotating art lines the walls, coffee, loose-leaf teas, and beer is poured, and the bakery case offers a selection of completely addictive sweets. Choose from two studious mediums: the front patio, or the comfortable interior, where the glow of laptops is enough to motivate anyone.
3) The Bardo Coffee House 238 South Broadway It's easy to feel comfortable enough to essentially live at Bardo: the environment is so inviting, that you'll often run into the same community of table sprawlers day after day. It's cozy, with small tables, generous booths, and a "living room" type space with armchairs and couches in the back. Another pro? Bardo stays open long past typical coffee houses, closing down at 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays -- yet another reason to keep your mojo going.
2) Black Eye Coffee 3408 Navajo Street Black Eye is so visually pleasing, it can be hard to tear yourself away from taking it all in to get anything done. Located in the lowest part of the Highland neighborhood, it's a homey, vintage respite complete with inviting outdoor chairs, community tables, and antique finds. Once you're able to get situated, plug some headphones in and enjoy expertly-poured coffee, cold-pressed juice, and tea from the Colorado Tea Company. If you're looking for a break from the screen, peruse some of the hand-picked artisan goods for sale, like Mast Brothers Chocolate or local honey. Sometimes, nothing drives production like incentives.
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1) Cafe Max 2412 East Colfax Avenue Cafe Max, the well-designed Colfax oasis, is meant for quiet contemplation and offers a work environment for the most serious -- and most distraction prone -- of remote worker. The owners keep the space simple and clean, exercising an almost meditative-approach to coffee shop culture, but fun details like the large vintage maps and modern furniture keep it light. They offer a small, delightful menu of ever-changing gourmet fare, like sun-dried tomato and brie frittata and their "ridiculously healthy" cereal, all of which keep patrons glued to their chairs.