When Lost City Coffee took over Black Black Coffee in RiNo last fall, there was no intention to open a second location. However, less than four months later, that's exactly what owner Michael Graham is doing. This Friday, February 7, marks the grand opening of Lost City Capitol Hill, inside the First Baptist Church at 1373 Grant Street.
"We weren't planning to expand, but what really appealed to us about this space is that the First Baptist Church has built community that is international and focused," Graham explains.
The space formerly housed the Spring Cafe, which closed this past December after five years of employing refugees from other countries looking to build new lives in metro Denver. Part of the appeal of the space, says Graham, is that the Spring Cafe's mission aligned with that of Lost City — with one small difference. "One of the reasons the Spring Cafe gave for closing was difficulty finding refugees to work given the current political climate," he notes. Instead, Lost City plans to focus on mentoring, fundraising and building supportive partnerships with organizations like Comal Heritage Food Incubator and the Spring Institute, which ran the Spring Cafe.
Plans to transform the space began in late November. "We've taken what was kind of a community space and made it brighter; we doubled the seating and added books and plants, pulling that over from Lost City RiNo," the owner adds.
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The new location comes equipped with a commercial kitchen, allowing Lost City to expand its food menu and delve into catering. Fresh features include strawberries and burrata, a quinoa salad made with greens from Dahlia Farms' aquaponic greenhouse, a Caribbean smoked tilapia salad, and a changing selection of sandwiches made with Haystack Mountain Creamery cheeses and River Bear meats. "We're focusing as much as possible on supporting businesses in the community that are doing good," Graham states.
Coffee options remain consistent between RiNo and Capitol Hill, with standards like drip, pour-over and lattes using coffee from Method Collective. Chai, matcha and other teas also appear on the scrabble-tiled menus. In fact, the first taste-testers of the extended catering menu were employees of Willie Nelson's Colorado-based company, Willie's Remedy, whose CDB tea can be found on the menu at both locations as well.
After spending the last week working out the kinks, Graham is planning a big party for friends and family to serve new menu items and host performances from a few local bands. Both locations will have liquor licenses and will soon debut cocktails, along with jazz happy hour and a singer-songwriter series to complement the Swallow Hill concerts and other events held at the church. The cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.