Ever since the rumor was confirmed that Voodoo Doughnuts will open its first location outside of Oregon at 1520 East Colfax Avenue, the chain's owners have been inundated with questions about when. Although weary to give an exact date, co-owner Tres Shannon says they hope to be open around Thanksgiving. "It can never be fast enough, but we still have to go through a lot of hoops," he explains.
The colorful mini-chain of shops, owned by Shannon and Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson, pairs weirdly flavored, irreverently named doughnuts -- like the Gay Bar ("chocked full of luscious cream and all the colors of the rainbow!") and the Maple Blazer Blunt ("It's a raised doughnut rolled into a blunt with maple frosting and red sprinkle ember, prices vary due to Blazer Mania!") -- with eclectic decor themed around voodoo priests. It's been featured on Anthony Bourdain's show and named an international tourist destination by the Los Angeles Times.
Voodoo opened in Portland ten years ago, and now has three locations in Oregon.
Next stop: Denver. Out of all the places where they could have opened, why here? "That's the big question," Shannon says. "Why not Denver? It's been great to us. It's a special place."
For starters, he points out, the market size is similar to Portland. The owners are also excited about opening on East Colfax. "We love the area. We've always been in sort of seedy areas," Shannon says. Colfax "is one of the greatest streets in the world."
And since Colfax is also home to rock-and-roll clubs, Voodoo will be able to carry on its tradition of bringing doughnuts backstage. The owners also hope to strike a deal with the dentist next door to the new store.
Having lived in Denver in the '70s and '80s, Shannon knows this town has a big sports culture -- and this will be new terroritory for Voodoo, because Portland doesn't have as many professional teams. "I love how Denver has a lot of sports teams. We like to do stuff with pop culture," Shannon says. "For example, today we could be doing doughnuts with orange and blue sprinkles."
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In the meantime, Shannon asks Denver doughnut fans to be patient. And even once the Colfax shop opens its doors, he warns that it might be a few weeks before the store is really up to speed, operating at peak performance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But Voodoo should have the magic to make it work.