Where: Newly located at 244 Detroit St, Denver, CO 80206
For most of 2013 Aviano sat with darkened windows in the bustling heart of Cherry Creek while construction progressed on its new location nearby. This was the second time Aviano had to close its doors since 2006 and coffee drinkers alike worried that it spelled trouble for the business. They had created quite the buzz in town and people were not happy to lose one of the only places in Denver that served such excellently crafted coffee. But while Aviano was shuttered away, everyone around town seem to pick up where they left off. Craft coffee culture in Denver is now booming with new cafes opening monthly. There is even a ‘pop-up’ coffee shop that setups in various vacant spaces around the city. Baristas also have taken their craft to the next level by gathering together to show off their skills in local and national competitions (Denver now boasts many national award winners). But with all this boom, I wondered where did it all start?
“We were the first” Doug Naiman, owner of Aviano, stated with a smile as he stood in his beautiful new location off third and Detroit in Cherry Creek. The cavernous space, filled with bright natural light and buzzing brilliant silver espresso machines, definitely does make a statement- one that echoes its owners sentiment -“we were first and we aren’t going anywhere”. However their pride is not just in their appearances but also in their process. Doug, after explaining the space, quickly proceeded to show me all their coffees, menus and every single step they take to ensure they brew the best. I’ve seen many of these processes before but Doug explained that they’ve been doing it longer than anyone in town. One of the reasons is the coffee they’ve brought to Denver. Intelligentsia coffee isn’t your ordinary bean, rather its high quality and vehemently monitored trade demands that it’s made with artisanal care. It is no surprise that it has a such an intense cult following in Denver, one that even rivals our locally roasted Novo beans. But being the only carrier of Intelligentsia immediately set Aviano from the pack and put it on par with many national craft coffee standards. The practices of regular brewing could not stand and so came along craft brewing by using a type of pour over method.