Charles Bibilos has been a regular at Cherry Bean Coffee for the past three years. But now he’s traded in his punch card for keys to the coffee shop’s new location on Broadway.
Bibilos and Cherry Bean Coffee owner Simon Lagos have partnered up to take over Amethyst Coffee’s former location at 1111 Broadway. Amethyst Coffee, known for raising its prices to pay its employees living wages, closed up shop in October after owners Elle Taylor and Breezy Sanchez said they experienced pandemic-induced burnout.
Lagos opened Cherry Bean’s first location at 4059 Tejon St. in 2015. Bibilos had grown close to Lagos after moving to the area and becoming a regular customer at the coffee shop, “especially when I had a newborn during the pandemic and my espresso consumption increased ten fold at that point,” Bibilos said.
Bibilos owns a private tutoring business in Denver, but grew up around the restaurant business since his father and grandfather were restaurant owners and wanted to find a way to get back into it part-time. So, six months ago, he walked into Cherry Bean and pitched the idea to Lagos to open a second location.
“I had been waiting for someone to ask me that,” Lagos said.
The duo had heard from a former Amethyst Coffee barista that the space was up for lease and felt it was a perfect fit. They opened Cherry Bean’s second location as co-owners on Dec. 9.
“We really believe in the neighborhood and that area, and we’re very confident in the staff we have and the culture we’ve tried to build for seven years,” Lagos said. “We want to make you feel at home, wherever you are.”
In addition to coffee, the new spot offers liquor, including espresso-based cocktails, like a martini, a negroni and a coquito (or a Puerto Rican eggnog). For a quick bite in the morning, customers can grab assorted pastries from local vendors like Reunion Bread, burritos from La Popular and Dis Burrito, chia puddings and Chilean empanadas.
“Two of our baristas also have bartending experience because we wanted to make sure we had people who could not only pour you a good cup of coffee, but also a good cocktail,” Lagos said.
Lagos, a Honduras native, moved to Denver in 2014 to be closer to his wife’s family. He opened Cherry Bean as a way to get an E-2 Investor Visa, which is issued to those who invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. And he attended Texas Coffee School to learn all about the industry.
Cherry Bean sources its coffee from Denver-based Sonder Coffee & Tea. Lagos said it’s difficult to source quality coffee from Honduras, since most of it is shipped to Europe, Japan and the Middle East, but his goal is to bring more of his hometown to Denver in the near future.
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