Cafe Society

Vail Couple Adds Link to 17th Avenue Coffee Scene

Link is now open at 1100 East 17th Avenue.
Link is now open at 1100 East 17th Avenue. Courtesy Link
Husband and wife Emily Griffiths and Cabal Yarne are taking their real-life teamwork to the cafe world with the opening of the new coffee shop, Link. The couple, who moved to Denver from Vail in 2014, run multiple retail businesses, including Decade on South Broadway, but Link is their first joint venture.

"I've owned several clothing stores...so this was a nice way for my wife and I to connect on a business together," Yarne explains. "That's where the name comes from — Link — being able to link up in business, and for the community to come together as well. We really wanted a place for people to be able to connect however they want, whether it's electronics or up front [in the coffee shop], where there are no outlets."

click to enlarge The Link team, including owners Emily Griffiths and Cabal Yarne (center). - COURTESY LINK
The Link team, including owners Emily Griffiths and Cabal Yarne (center).
Courtesy Link
The couple took over the space, formerly inhabited by Dazbog, at 1100 East 17th Avenue a year and a half ago. They built out the shop themselves, with plenty of help from friends and family. "It's been a family affair," says Yarne, whose parents came from Wisconsin and spent their 48th wedding anniversary helping to build the cafe. And on her seventieth birthday, Yarne's mother was sanding and varnishing pieces for the shop. Griffiths' parents also visited from Ohio to lend a hand constructing benches, countertops and shelves. "Anything that's made of wood, we built," says Yarne.

The menu design came with help from their cafe manager, Alex Korbichef, who created several versions of naan flatbreads, including a dessert naan with Nutella, black-cherry compote and whipped cream, and a savory naan with ahi tuna, avocado crema, microgreens and furikake. Coffee shop staples like bagels from Rebel Bread and pastries from Etai's are also available. The full menu, which will change seasonally, can be found on Link's website.


And, of course, what's a coffee shop without drinks? A specially roasted drip coffee comes from Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea, while Copper Door supplies the beans for Link's espresso. A third coffee used for pour-overs will change monthly. Housemade syrups come in unique flavors like fresh peppermint and lemon-fennel, and can be added to a coffee drink, a non-alcoholic spritz, or to something from the self-service tap like kombucha from Rowdy Mermaid, prosecco, white wine, an IPA or a lager.

click to enlarge Inside the brand new Link. - COURTESY LINK
Inside the brand new Link.
Courtesy Link

"We really wanted a classy place for people but a very approachable space, where someone feels like they're going out for a nicer coffee, but when you meet the staff it's more approachable and inviting to the whole community...a place where everybody feels welcome," says Yarne.

When Griffiths, who primarily works in health care, and Yarne moved to Denver after more than a decade in the mountains, it opened their eyes to larger issues that exist in urban areas, particularly homelessness. "You're kind of sheltered living up [in Vail]," reflects Yarne. "Your eyes are opened up to how serious the problem is down here, and that's been something that weighs on me heavily. The idea behind Link is how to foster meetings and connections through that space that could hopefully lead to solving a bigger problem." 

Griffiths and Yarne will officially celebrate their hard work and the work of their community with a grand opening this Saturday, February 2, with live music, giveaways and discounts throughout the day. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with plenty of food and drink options to get you from morning to night.
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Danielle Krolewicz likes a good cup of coffee, a good book and a good deal — not necessarily in that order.