TRENDY COFFEE SHOP TRANSFORMS INTO BAR AT NIGHT
The Lower Highlands’ most popular coffee shop, Black Eye, has recently opened its chic counterpart in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Nestled at the corner of 8th Ave. and Sherman, Black Eye’s sleek and all-black exterior shares a space with the equally-trendy Proper Barbershop next door, and the Moto Apartments above.
The analogous component to both coffee shops is the pristine attention to detail. The Cap Hill location stems from the roots of Art Deco, utilizing the black walls and gold font to create a refreshing vintage milieu.
The new location not only offers Black Eye’s signature coffee and pastries but also a full menu and a bar. The new menu contains options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to accompany one’s drink of choice. The well-known and loved coffee offered by Black Eye is available in drip, pour over, and latte style, creating carefully selected and described roasts to complement the space itself.
The aesthetics of both Black Eye Coffees contrast excellently. The area and LoHi emphasizes the historical and proletariat aspect of the neighborhood, using reclaimed wood and adding a homey ambiance to the space. The Cap Hill location matches the trendiness of its sister, but harbors a darker and more chic aesthetic.
The owners, Ali Elman, Dustin Audet, and Gregory Ferrari, have exceeded their attention to detail by installing a revolving wall in the bar area. If asked before bar hours, the staff just might rotate the wall from mere shelves of glasses to the extensive collection of alcohols before 5 p.m.
The walls of the café are decorated with vintage photographs in equally-aged frames, adding to the location’s old-world charm. Although space is limited in this thriving café, there are green velvet booths lining the walls that make huddling close to perfect strangers well worth it.
Not only is the café space beautiful to the eye, but the owners have created a completely new level of ambiance. The bathrooms of Black Eye are works of art themselves, from all-black hardware to neon lights exuding poetic phrases, as well as audiobooks played over speakers installed in the single-person restrooms.
Much like the original Black Eye, the new location caters to the neighborhood. At 5 p.m. everyday the café transforms, the pastries vanish out of site, the walls revolve to reveal their alcohol selection, and the space dims its lights, turning into the Black Eye bar.
The challenge that the newest Black Eye Coffee has certainly surmounted is being able to create an atmosphere that is both a refined coffee shop and an exquisite bar. No matter if the customers are cozy in a booth with their laptop or stationed at the bar with a drink, Black Eye is place that is easy to see the minutes slip away and to merely enjoy the ambiance that has been carefully created.
Above: Black Eye Coffee’s all-black interior creates a chic ambiance.
photo: Sarai Nissan • CU Denver Sentry