The Desk delays opening by a week

Mandy Stevens and Kristian Barowsky were planning to unveil The Desk today, giving Denver a combination cafe-workspace that would allow the city's numerous freelancers a place to post up with a cup of coffee, reserve a desk for hours at a time or hold a meeting in a conference room.

But when we stopped by today to get a look at what they've created, we learned that though the space is just about ready, the opening has been delayed a week.

Barowsky showed us around the joint, though, which will be an excellent addition to Denver, not least because it's shaping up into a real haven for worker bees.

Those who work better with a little food and noise will want to check out the front of the space, which is a sleek cafe: a pastry case gleams near the counter, as does a Rancilio espresso machine, which will be used to pull shots of Ink! coffee; there's also a state-of-the-art wine storage system. And the seating area, which is first-come, first-served -- and free -- is bright and airy, with high ceilings and large street-facing windows.

Step through a hallway to the back, though, and you'll find a quieter zone full of numerous, well-designed workspace stations decked out with state-of-the-art technology and nice furniture. One large conference room holds a boardroom table, a flat-screen TV to which you can hook up your laptop, and designated data lines, which Barowsky hopes will lure in people from the nearby State Capitol. A smaller conference room with a similar setup will house a round table and the same technology. A pair of isolation booths are soundproofed and ideal for phone calls; Barowsky explains that a light will switch on inside when the user has five minutes left so the staff doesn't have to interrupt a meeting. And the main room, outfitted with soft lighting instead of harsh fluorescent bulbs, is lined with a couple of community tables plus some individual workstations. Some of those seats will be reserved for members, who can drop in anytime and nab a desk; others can be reserved by the hour via the Desk's online real-time reservation system.

Also awesome? "We'll have free coffee back here for people who reserve spaces," says Barowsky. Not bad, considering you can score one of those community table seats for just $5 an hour.

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