Espresso Americano is not a name often tossed around at the breakfast nook — at least not in the U.S. Born in Honduras, this family-owned chain operates hundreds of coffee shops throughout Central America and two in Colorado. And a third outpost is taking shape right on the 16th Street Mall, bringing Honduran hospitality to a new audience.
Espresso Americano's stores in the Landmark development at Denver Tech Center and across the highway on DTC Boulevard were something of an experiment for the chain. Those two opened last year, and the experiment continues with a new cafe at 216 16th Street, replacing a Quiznos at the ground floor of the Columbine Plaza office building. The company hopes to open more than a dozen new coffee shops by the end of 2016. "We all gotta have dreams, you know?" laughs David Kubena, Espresso Americano's North American director.
He's entirely serious, however. Despite its origins, the offerings at Espresso Americano should be familiar to any local caffeine addict, with espresso, coffee brewed from beans grown on the company's own lands, smoothies, and cold brew for the warmer months. "It's a little bit different [from Central American stores] on the food side. We still use our own coffee because we grow it ourselves. On the beverage side, the only real difference is that the syrups and the sweetness of the drinks we've made more in tune for the American palate, to be less sweet," Kubena says. The Colorado shops have done a brisk business in American-style breakfast, with pastries baked in-house and from local bakeries, along with sandwiches, quiches and burritos. "We marry the Honduran culture with the American; we try to retain the look and feel of our Honduran stores and just make make it more comfortable for the U.S.," Kubena says. "We want to be international, but have that local flavor as well."
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The new Espresso Americano is busy preparing for an opening by the 23rd of this month, and will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Keep an eye on the Espresso Americano Facebook page for updates.