Yemi Mobolade’s downtown coffee shop/gathering place/restaurant/bar/entertainment venue, the Wild Goose Meeting House, which he started with business partner Russ Ware in November 2013, has enjoyed phenomenal success. Even after a recent expansion into adjoining space on Boulder Street, the Goose overflows with patrons from dawn to dusk — and into the night.

As Yogi Berra famously remarked about his favorite watering hole, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

“The Wild Goose is a place that builds community, fosters engaging conversations and provides a sense of home away from home,” said Connect Colorado Springs founder Lawrence Wagner, Mobolade’s nominator. “It’s a testament to Yemi’s professional drive, his kind spirit, his desire to help others and his passion to provide opportunity to help people connect and grow.”

Mobolade, who also serves as the associate pastor of local missions at the First Presbyterian Church, may be the only pastor in Colorado Springs with a liquor license. He’s a native of Nigeria who spent time in London, Indiana and California before moving to the Springs in 2011.

Mobolade walks his talk. He’s a board member of the downtown YMCA, a member of the Downtown Partnership and of El Pomar’s Black Advisory Council. He firmly believes that the city’s best days are yet to come.

“I try to recruit all my friends to come here,” he said.

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So what’s next?

“That’s always on my mind,” said Mobolade. “I don’t have any guarantees right now, but if I can create something that will help make our city a great place to be, that is a hope.”

— John Hazlehurst