Local coffee shops change hands, get new lives

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There are some new businesses brewing just north of downtown Colorado Springs.

Two former coffee shops  — Dogtooth Coffee Company (505 E. Columbia St.) in the Patty Jewett neighborhood and STIR (2330 N. Wahsatch Ave.) in the Old North End — have recently been purchased by local restaurateurs who plan to recreate and reopen the businesses in August.

Good Neighbors Meeting House

Dogtooth Coffee Company quietly closed its doors at 505 E. Columbia St. at the end of April after more than a decade in one of the Patty Jewett neighborhood’s few commercial properties.

In hopes of replacing the business with another neighborhood-friendly establishment, property manager Jim Foster approached local businessmen Russ Ware and Yemi Mobolade — co-owners of Wild Goose Meeting House (401 N. Tejon St.) — about filling its spot with a new concept.

“We wanted to contact people with business models like we would want to see here,” Foster said. “I think it will be a really great thing for this neighborhood.”

Ware and Mobolade, who opened Wild Goose in 2014 and were ready for a new project, almost immediately seized the opportunity to take over the space when approached by Foster.

“This is a great little neighborhood hub and people love it,” Ware said. “For us — living in the neighborhood and really understanding what this place has represented — it was an immediate no-brainer.”

Ware and Mobolade began work in May renovating the 2,000-square-foot space, which will be called Good Neighbors Meeting House, and expect to open in early August.

“We want this to feel a little more like a classic café,” Ware said. “You [will] really get that European, mid-century modern feel. It will kind of look like a 1940s/1950s ice cream shop or soda fountain.”

When opened, the owners said Good Neighbors will serve coffee, wine, beer, smoothies and some food items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Foster said that if a liquor license is approved for the business — currently under review by the Colorado Springs Liquor and Beer Licensing Board — it will be the neighborhood’s first in more than 100 years.

“I think this neighborhood is ready now,” Ware said. “People seem really excited about being able to walk over, come sit on the patio and have a glass of wine.”

The owners expect the café to include indoor seating for 50, with additional outdoor seating on the patio. Ware said the new space will also include a garage door, which has become a signature feature of Wild Goose.

STIR Coffee & Cocktails

Just a mile away from what will soon be Good Neighbors Meeting House is STIR, a coffee shop located in the Bon Shopping Center of the Old North End.

The business was purchased last week by restaurateur Joe Campana, who owns The Rabbit Hole and Bonny & Read (both at 101 N. Tejon St.), and his business partner Amber Stull. The two bought STIR from founder Sabrena Soong with plans to renovate and transform the 1,215-square-foot neighborhood coffee shop into a hip, urban hangout that will offer a full food menu, craft cocktails, wine and beer.

The new owners compared the concept to that of Shuga’s (702 S. Cascade Ave.) and Burrowing Owl (1791 S. Eighth St.), which are similar in their size and location within residential neighborhoods.

“It’s smaller; it’s more intimate; it’s a neighborhood bar,” Stull said. “We want it to be the kind of place people want to have dinner, have a conversation and have a nice drink.”

Campana and Stull have already started renovations with hopes to open in August. Campana said the exact opening date will depend on a liquor license, which is currently being reviewed by the Colorado Springs Liquor and Beer Licensing Board.

The remodel will include a larger bar, an additional bathroom and an expanded wraparound patio with seating for as many as 70 customers (in addition to indoor seating for 40).

“It’s going to look really sharp,” Campana said.

The owners said they expect to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks from 7 a.m. to around midnight or 1 a.m.

Campana said he and Stull picked this location because of the growing popularity of the Old North End among younger generations.

“This felt really good from the start,” Campana said. “This neighborhood is up and coming, and business over here is great.”

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