Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wash Perk Coffee

The Grand Poobah and I are both pretty loyal customers of Kaladi Brothers Coffee, here in Denver. We've known Marko since he moved here, from Alaska, 11 years ago. Speaking for myself, I admire what he does with his roasting and his ethical buying practices. The actual Kaladi Brothers physical plant leaves something to be desired, however.

Kaladi often resembles a rowdy British pub, during the World Cup playoffs. The acoustics are weird and, when it's crowded, you end up with one of those situations where everyone in the place is virtually shouting, trying to be heard over the din. And, half the time, you can more easily make out what someone two tables away is saying than what the person across from you is telling you.

I most often sit outside at the sidewalk tables in warm weather to avoid the noise inside. But, sitting ten feet from a traffic lane on one of the busiest 4-lane thoroughfares in the city leaves a bit to be desired ambience-wise. The noise and exhaust from the passing traffic on Evans Avenue can be a bit unpleasant, at times. Still, I go to Kaladi Brothers on a regular basis because I am like Norm, on Cheers. Everyone knows my name, and they have a big cup of coffee poured for me before I can even order.

This past Sunday though, Brad and I met up on the bicycles and headed down to a shop with which neither of us was familiar, Wash Perk Coffee. Located in the heart of the Washington Park neighborhood. Even though it suffers from the common "punny name syndrome" (Perk Hill is in the Park Hill neighborhood, Pikes Perk sits virtually at the foot of Pikes Peak, down in Colorado Springs), I couldn't hold that against the place.

The Grand Poobah has arrived

As we approached the shop, I realized that I often ride right by it on the way home from Cycle Analyst. I had noticed the tables and umbrellas, but I am typically on a mission when I go to Richard's shop, picking up some esoteric bit of bike equipment that no one else in town will stock. So I've never had occasion to stop in.

The location at 853 E. Ohio Ave is in a tree-shaded neighborhood of small bungalows and Craftsman houses. The volume of the auto traffic is dwarfed by the foot traffic and bicycles (at least, it was at 10:00 on a Sunday morning). The bikes got parked against the patio rail, and the decision was made to sit outside and enjoy the pleasant surroundings.

Flowers and vegetables in a sidewalk garden

We went inside to order our drinks, and I was impressed with how quiet and calm the small seating area was. This would definitely be a conducive atmosphere for settling in with a good book on a rainy (or snowy) morning. After chit-chatting with the baristas, we ordered up our drinks (black coffee for me, latté for Brad) and repaired to our patio table.

My favorite way to start a day

Are my gloves latte' colored, or...?

The coffee was excellent (they use coffee from Kaladi Brothers Roasting), the staff was friendly, and the surroundings were quite pleasant and relaxing. Even though its roughly 2 miles past Kaladi Brothers from my house, I suspect I'll be wiling away the occasional morning coffee hour at Wash Perk, in the future. The extra distance from the house will actually allow me to get a bit of a ride in, too.


katina said...

OOO, my high school history teacher lives in the Wash Park area.

Maybe next time we're in town, we should get together and go to this place. looks good to me.

Jon said...

You've got my digits. Give me a jingle when you hit the city.

BSR said...

Hey Brad, you made the big-time and are featured in the Sep/Oct issue of Momentum Magazine. Congratulations!

Now that the association is famous, maybe fewer people will ask what that pin is on my saddlebag. ;-)

Brad said...


Yea they contacted me briefly regarding a photo before going to print. I sent off a little something in response with more info and pics, but I was informed after the fact that I missed a deadline and they just ran something. I am honestly a bit miffed that he insinuated we/I was sexist, and suggesting a name change from wheelmen to cyclists. He couldn't have been further from the truth. For the record, all people are welcome regardless of sex or cyclist. Even though I tried to explain the cheeky nature and emphasis on fun for still got met with a PC jab. I am gracious for the interest, but wish it would have been a bit more informative and on point.

BSR said...

It's just a traditional name. I bet there have been wheelmen groups for over 100 years! He needs to lighten up a bit.

I sure didn't take it that way when I saw the article, but I wasn't hearing about it for the first time, either.

Oh least they got a nice big picture of the pin!

Suzanne Swanson said...

I'm almost only ride my bike to obtain a delicious breakfast and the biggest latte I can find. I'd be proud to be considered a caffeinated wheelmen. The pin is awesome. Given the publicity, you might be able to make some pocket change so you can get more coffee. If you got 'em, I'd buy 'em.

- Suzanne

Brad said...


Perfect! Pins are $6 Drop me a line:
hbclick at yahoo dot com